VnExpress Marathon a fresh air for Hue's tourism: chairman

By Nguyen Nghia   January 29, 2024 | 08:54 pm PT
Chairman Nguyen Van Phuong of Thua Thien Hue Province described VnExpress Marathon marathon as a breath of fresh air into the serene ancient capital, marking the beginning of the annual tourism season.

Another VnExpress Marathon is coming back to Hue, how do you feel?

In 2020, when VnExpress and FPT Online selected Hue as a destination for the VnExperss Marathon, it became the province's biggest sporting event, which helped to stimulate tourism, promote local people and historical landmarks. VnExpress Marathon Hue has always been the province's major event. This year, the event will be held in April and Thua Thien Hue has gathered personnel to collaborate with various units to ensure that it will go smoothly. The overall goal is to ensure the safe conduct of the race and provide the best experience for the 10,000 participants.

Mr Nguyen Van Phuong, Chairman of Thua Thien Hue People’s Committee. Picture: Vo Thanh

Nguyen Van Phuong, Chairman of Thua Thien Hue People’s Committee. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh

Multiple roads will be cleaned and cleared. Roads with poor surfaces will be expanded, receive asphalt paving, new drainage systems and additional greenery. This not only ensures that Hue remains aesthetically pleasing for its residents and visitors, but also contributes to alleviating traffic congestion, serving tourism development.

Businesses, hotels, and households have registered to accommodate runners participating in the competition. In 2023, hundreds of households volunteered to open their toilets for runners for free. This showed the willingness of the local residents to welcome thousands of runners to the ancient capital.

Hue is dedicating its efforts to support the VnExpress Marathon 2024, improving infrastructure to ensure a successful event.

How do you assess the impact of VnExpress Marathon to Hue after 4 years of organization?

After four years, Hue has seen many changes in infrastructure and tourism environment, becoming a green, clean and hospitable city.

From 4,000 runners participating in the first season of 2020, the tournament scale has increased to more than 10,000, including more than 2,000 from Hue alone. This shows that the local sports movement is growing. Many other tournaments with smaller scale have also followed suit, creating a regular playground for the community.

Last year, more than 32,500 visitors came to Hue in the three days of the event, creating about VND55.5 billion (US$2.27 million) in tourism revenues. In 2022, VnExpress Marathon Hue was honored in the province's top 10 cultural and sports events with great impact to the community. The running tournament has become the biggest event in the past few years, contributing to changing people's thinking about sports, and attracting more tourists to the province.

In the long run, the running tournament will be organized on a larger scale, attracting more tourists and athletes, then this will be a key economic activity.

To Huu road in front of the Hue People’s Committee Headquarters is a vital route in the future

To Huu road in front of the Hue People’s Committee Headquarters is a vital route of the VnExpress Marathon Hue. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh

What do Hue people think of the VnExpress Marathon?

The tournament from a somewhat strange event has gradually become something worth looking forward to every April. The blazing and bustling atmosphere on every street corner creates an overall eager atmosphere among local people.

Local runners have been planning their training around the event.

In the first year, many locals saw VnExpress Marathon as an event reserved for athletes and running enthusiasts from other places coming to Hue. But in the following seasons, many people of the ancient capital have embraced and participated in the race.

In 2023, images of hundreds of traders from Dong Ba Market wearing conical hats and ao dai, stretching banners reading "Dong Ba Market accompanies VnExpress Marathon Imperial Hue," or moments when locals, undeterred by the pouring rain, cheered for the athletes, left a significant impression on visitors to the ancient capital.

In 2024 and the coming years, we have plans to collaborate with the organizer to promote the event with more investment in infrastructure, transportation, and accommodation.

Runners testing the VnExpress Marathon Imperial Huế route in 2023.

Runners test the VnExpress Marathon Imperial Hue route in 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh

The VnExpress Marathon races take place on weekends, ensuring minimal disruption to school schedules and working hours. We consistently strive to create the most favorable conditions for the races, minimizing conflicts between participants and the general public. We proactively share information early on, disseminating it through various media channels, so that residents can plan their travel with the utmost convenience.

What tourism plans does Hue have during the tournament week?

The Hue Festival 2024 will open with the Spring Festival from January to March, including court festivals and traditional festivals that promise to bring the public new experiences to welcome spring in the ancient capital.

Through April, Hue will hold the Summer Festival "Shining City" with a series of events and activities to honor and promote cultural heritage, with the VnExpress Marathon Hue 2024 a highlight.

These events will help attract tourists and draw attention to Hue before and during the run.

View of the Hue city center from above

Hue city center seen from above. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh

What is the difference between the VnExpress Marathon and other running events?

VnExpress Marathon is a large-scale tournament system that has organized races in many big cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Long, Quy Nhon, and Nha Trang, and may continue to come to many other cities.

With creativity and professionalism, VnExpress Marathon's products will be further enhanced in terms of brand reputation, quality, and sustainable development. Especially when VnExpress Marathon has a long-term strategy and the noble mission of serving the community.

We also hope that this event will become a brand in each locality, because this project needs to be widely spread and attract a large number of people's attention.

VnExpress Marathon Hue took place for the first time in 2020. The running event became a favorite destination for runners nationwide due to the scenic and historical routes around the former citadel of Hue. Many participants have joined the event to combine running with sightseeing. This year, the marathon is scheduled for April 21, with an expected scale of 10,000 runners. Register here:

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