Vietnam’s capital hoping to welcome more visitors thanks to CNN ads

TV commercials aired by U.S. broadcaster CNN have been introducing Hanoi to people around the world for the past year, sparking an interest in travel to Vietnam’s capital. The network started airing two commercials featuring the best of the 1,000-year-old capital in early March last year as part of a $2 million tourism deal with Hanoi. In “Hanoi – Heart of Vietnam” and “Hanoi – Cradle of Heritage”, Australian travel writer Phoebe Lee visits the city’s most popular sites – the red The Huc Bridge across Hoan Kiem Lake, Saint Joseph’s Cathedral, the Temple of Literature, which was Vietnam’s first university, the Perfume Pagoda and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. She is also seen enjoying a cyclo tour, a motorbike ride and a chat with a street vendor. The ads have resulted in 92 percent of viewers saying they’d like to travel to Hanoi, a survey by U.K. research firm BDRC Continental has found. Hanoi lured five million foreign tourists last year, up 23 percent against 2016, according to official data, and the city hopes the commercials will entice more in the year to come. But many locals and experts say the efforts and money that Hanoi has spent will be in vain if tourists experience low-quality services. It would be better if the city could guarantee quality services so that tourists want to come back for more. Return tourism is a problem for Vietnam, even though the country welcomed a record 12.9 million foreign visitors in 2017, up 29.1 percent from… [Read full story]

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