Vietnam’s Hue eyes status as regional tourism hub

Diversifying tourism products and improving customer experiences are important measures for Thua Thien-Hue to achieve its goal of becoming a cultural, tourism and healthcare centre in Southeast Asia by 2030.


A corner of Hue Imperial Citadel in Thua Thien-Hue. The province attracted 2.4 million visitors in the first nine months of the year. PHOTO: VNA/ VIET NAM NEWS

October 13, 2023

HANOI – Diversifying tourism products and improving customer experiences are important measures for Thừa Thiên-Huế to attract more visitors and achieve its goal of becoming a cultural, tourism and healthcare centre in Southeast Asia by 2030.

With seven UNESCO-recoganised heritage sites, the central province is an ideal destination for both domestic and foreign visitors.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, the province’s tourism sector has recovered strongly, attracting millions of tourists from many countries in the world.

In the first nine months of this year, 2.4 million visitors visited the province, a 61 per cent increase compared to the previous year and including 745,000 foreigners.

The top 10 markets were Thailand, the US, Malaysia, Taiwan, France, the UK, Germany, South Korea, and the Netherlands. But the average duration of stay has decreased, requiring the province to develop more products to encourage visitors to stay longer.

At a recent conference held to discuss solutions for connecting Huế tourism in September, many options were considered.

Participants agreed on the importance of creating appealing tourism products, enhancing human resources, improving infrastructure, and better promoting local tourism.

Nguyễn Văn Phúc, director of the Thừa Thiên-Huế Department of Tourism, said the province has all the necessary conditions and great potential for tourism, particularly with its seven UNESCO sites.

In recent years, the province has been focusing on sustainable tourism development, introducing numerous new products to meet visitors’ demands.

However, Phúc said the number of tourists visiting Huế is still not commensurate with its potential.

So the province’s tourism industry would collaborate with investors to develop unique products and services and implement programmes to further promote tourism, he promised.

To achieve the goal of becoming a tourism hub of the country and a cultural, tourism and healthcare centre of Southeast Asia by 2030, many products have been developed by the province.

Tourism diversification has been a joint effort involving local authorities and investors.

Presently, the province is developing products under the Huế brand.

Several free programmes will be organised, such as the changing of the guard at the Huế Imperial Citadel and Huế royal court music performances.

Following the “Huế – Four Seasons” approach, the province is striving to create special products and revitalise heritage areas by organising art performances and exhibitions, Nguyễn Phước Hải Trung, deputy director of the Huế Monuments Conservation Centre, said.

Alongside activities related to heritages, many new modern tourism activities and programmes will be organised in the province.

This month, the country’s first and largest digital art space, Sốnglab, will be launched in Huế City, offering local residents and visitors the opportunity to experience the integration of technology and art.

Sốnglab is equipped with avant-garde technologies used in renowned art spaces worldwide.

Its five rooms each utilise different technologies to showcase digital visual arts and music works by young Vietnamese artists.

The visual arts draw inspiration from daily life and famous Huế imagery such as Huế Imperial Citadel and the Hương River.

Dương Đỗ, creative director and executive manager of Sốnglab, said it took him five years to complete the project.

He said he hoped it would attract hundreds of visitors a day and become a second destination for visitors to Huế after the Imperial Citadel.

Sốnglab is situated on Sốngplatform, a modern complex providing an extensive eco-system for work, leisure, art, shopping, cuisine, and education.

The platform has various services ranging from food and beverages to shopping, and classes and workshops on Huế’s traditional culture and cuisine.

Visitors can learn how to make traditional Huế dishes like Pháp Lam cake, listen to traditional Huế royal court music and taste authentic local foods.

Besides investors, private individuals have opened homestays and coffee shops where they teach visitors how to make traditional Huế foods and brew teas. They also share stories about Huế and its people.

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