Hanoi seeks to suspend CNN ads

By Hoang Phong   April 7, 2020 | 05:10 am PT
Hanoi seeks to suspend CNN ads
The Hanoi Opera House in downtown area looks forlorn with much fewer vehicles March 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Kieu Duong.
Hanoi authorities have ordered the temporary suspension of tourism promotion via CNN as the Covid-19 fight intensifies.

City Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung Monday asked the Department of Tourism to negotiate with CNN about a temporary halt to all tourism promotion on the global news channel from now until September to cut costs.

Chung told a meeting the most important task is to mobilize all resources towards combatting the Covid-19 pandemic as the capital experiences the country’s highest number of infections. Hanoi has recorded 111 coronavirus cases, with 38 discharged from hospital thus far.

Last year, the capital city signed a $4-million tourism promotion deal with CNN for the 2019-2024 period. In the same year, CNN aired 15 short films on Hanoi attractions across the Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and South Asia.

All popular tourist destinations in the country have been closed since mid-March while bars and most other entertainment facilities were shut until April 15 on the Prime Minister’s orders, with the country having entered a nationwide social distancing campaign.

The St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi is left deserted March, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Kieu Duong. 

The St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi is left deserted March, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Kieu Duong. 

According to Hanoi’s tourism department, the number of visitors to the capital during the first quarter of this year was down 47 percent year-on-year to 3.85 million. Nearly 956,000 were foreigners, falling 44 percent from a year ago.

Vietnam has confirmed 249 Covid-19 cases, of whom 122 have been discharged, including 27 on Tuesday. Of the 249 infections, 156 are overseas returnees. The remaining 93 contracted the virus via close contact with the source of transmission, including 63 from the two hotspots of Buddha Bar & Grill in Ho Chi Minh City and Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi.

The Covid-19 pandemic has so far claimed almost 76,000 lives as it hit 209 countries and territories.

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