$23 million in four days: Hanoi's tourist-friendly approach is paying off

By Bui Hong Nhung   September 6, 2016 | 01:02 am PT
Tourism revenue surged by 22 percent over the Independence Day weekend.

Hanoi welcomed more than 220,000 visitors in the first four days of September, collecting some VND526 billion ($23.6 million) from tourism services, according to data from the city’s Department of Tourism.

Head of the department Do Dinh Hong said that the new walking space around Hoan Kiem Lake has drawn local visitors as well as foreign tourists to the capital.

Specifically, visitor numbers soared by 22 percent on-year during the national holiday, of which domestic tourists grew by 23 percent to some 185,000 people, while foreign arrivals rose by 11 percent to hit more than 22,000.

Since September 1, Hoan Kiem Lake and adjacent areas have been turned into a pedestrian zone every evening from Friday to Sunday.

The city has also lifted a midnight curfew on restaurants, bars, cafés and karaoke parlors in an effort to provide more nightlife for tourists.

However, the surge in visitor numbers has resulted in poor sanitation in some areas, and some vehicles are still entering the walking zone despite the “no-entry” signs, Hong admitted.

“We shouldn’t expect to get it right straight away. Authorities know about the problems and are finding ways to improve the walking streets.”

The tourism department has asked Hoan Kiem District to stop street vendors and private vehicles from entering the pedestrian zone. Local authorities have also been instructed to install more garbage bins around the lake and keep public restrooms clean.

Related news:

Hanoi to install free wi-fi hotspots around Hoan Kiem Lake

Hanoi to ban vehicles around Hoan Kiem Lake starting September 1

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