Poor promotions botch Hanoi's "year of tourism'

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Hanoi is at risk of welcoming fewer tourists than usual during its most anticipated year of tourism due to ineffective promotional activities, officials said at a municipal meeting on Wednesday.

The number of tourists visiting Hanoi in the first quarter decreased 7.2 percent year on year, a fact that Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Director Pham Quang Long partially chalked up it to soaring room and tour prices.

But the main reason was that "no company spent money promoting tourism, they've just depended on government promotions, and their own promotional methods have been unsatisfactory," Long said.

The capital is looking forward to its 1,000th anniversary celebration this October.

Also at the meeting, Nguyen The Thao, chairman of Hanoi People's Committee, urged related agencies to speed up preparations for the anniversary.

Much of the planning has yet to be completed, while the grand festival is coming near, he stressed.

Hanoi has recently called off a project to bury 1,000 items to be opened 1,000 years later as part of the anniversary, because it was impossible, local newswire VnExpress quoted Pham Quang Nghi, secretary of Hanoi's Party Committee, as saying.

They couldn't decide what to bury as gifts to future generations, and it wasn't enough for Hanoi to be allowed to contribute only one item, Nghi said.

Not to mention that the plan, which was announced at two press briefings in February and March, wasn't officially approved by the city's People's Committee, according to Long.

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