Hanoi tourism builds trademarks for local souvenirs

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Craft villages and tourism businesses in Hanoi have been tasked with building trademarks for local souvenir products, in line with a plan of the city to carry out the national tourism development strategy to 2030.

At a pottery village (Photo: VNA)

Souvenir development is believed to hold huge potential that may greatly contribute to Hanoi’s tourism by increasing tourists’ length of stay and spending.

With more than 1,350 craft villages, Hanoi is a tourism hub of great potential for souvenir development, with many unique products originating from such villages.

According to the association of craft, ancient and cultural villages of Hanoi, 35 villages under its management are able to create hundreds of products and souvenir serving visitors. Many of them receive orders from European and Asian nations. 

Head of the association Nguyen Van Su said that the villages, over the years, have stayed connected with well-known tourist destinations to introduce and sell their products.

However, in the home market, traditional gifts have little appeal and competitive edge. The number of products sold as souvenirs at local destinations remains modest, and few of them bear typical traits of the sites.

At the Van Phuc silk village (Photo: VNA)

Phung Quang Thang, Director of Hanoi Tourist and President of the Hanoi Travel Association, pointed out that souvenir development at craft villages has yet to be effective due to a lack of connectivity and information sharing between the villages and travel agents.

Meanwhile, plain design and limited promotional activities made souvenirs from Hanoi’s craft village unsuitable for domestic and foreign holidaymakers’ taste.

Director of the Temple of Literature’s Centre for Scientific and Cultural Activities Le Xuan Kieu said the site has rolled out a contest to design its own souvenirs. Afterward, it will join hands with craft villages to produce new products. 

Head of the Hoa Lo Prison Relic Site Management Board Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy said that it has built a panoply of souvenirs with links to historical stories associated with the relic.

Su said the group of villages have worked with the People’s Committee of Hoan Kiem district at the heart of the city and the Hanoi Travel Association, together with some relic sites, on an idea to set up an area introducing craft products, souvenir and gifts created by Hanoi villages.

The move, which is hoped to promote the quintessence of local craft villages and enhance visitors’ experience, requires stronger collaboration amongst local craft villages, tourist destinations as well as tourism company, insiders said.

At present, the Hanoi Department of Tourism and the municipal People’s Committee are mulling over the organisation of a festival on Hanoi souvenir and gifts this year, when the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control.

The number of tourists to Hanoi in the first half of 2021 is estimated at 2.9 million, down 25 percent year-on-year, according to the municipal Tourism Department.

The city has earned only 8.1 trillion VND (352.6 million USD) from tourism services, a year-on-year decrease of 57 percent.

Currently, Vietnam has not yet opened its doors to international tourists. The number of foreigners coming to Hanoi during this time is modest, mainly experts and workers staying in Vietnam.

Therefore, the capital city’s tourism industry has actively restructured new tourism products with a view to better serving domestic tourists, such as a night tour to explore Thang Long Imperial Citadel – a UNESCO-recognised world cultural heritage site, a folk experience tour to the Museum of Ethnology, or a night tour to the Hoa Lo prison relic site.

The sector has also set an overall target of catering to between 13.16 and 19.4 million tourists, including 10.96-15.34 million domestic visitors, for this year.

Hanoi attracted some 8.65 million holidaymakers in 2020, equivalent to 30 percent as compared with 2019, of whom foreign arrivals were estimated at 1.11 million, equivalent to 15.8 percent from last year.

Source: VNA