Attracting International Tourists to Explore Hanoi’s Heritage Sites

Hanoi is experiencing a surge in tourism due to its focus on connecting its rich cultural and natural heritage sites.


As Vietnam is home to numerous cultural and natural heritage sites, Hanoi, along with many provinces and cities across the country, has linked up and developed attractive tours and itineraries to enhance the experience and attract international tourists.

Signature products

Tour connecting heritage sites from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay attracts visitors. Photo: Thuy Edna

Despite the scorching heat of summer, the special national landscape complex of Trang An-Tam Coc-Bich Dong, a UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site in the northern province of Ninh Binh, has seen a significant influx of foreign tourists seeking to experience and stay in the area.

Nguyen Thi Nhung, the owner of Hoang Long Riverside Homestay in Ninh Binh, stated that during the summer months, her foreign guests often book rooms through travel websites, including This is especially true for visitors from South Korea, the UK, and Germany.

Brian Tucker and his wife chose to travel from Hanoi to Ninh Binh to explore the heritage sites after considering various destinations.

“We love the ancient and cultural vibe of Hanoi, as well as the peaceful, clean, and nature-filled experiences in Ninh Binh,” he said.

In addition to the Hanoi-Ninh Binh route, tours connecting heritage sites from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh, Cat Ba in Haiphong, Dong Van Rock Plateau in Ha Giang, and Ban Gioc Waterfall in Cao Bang are also attracting many domestic and foreign tourists.

Doan Ngoc Bao, the director of sales and marketing at Ambassador Cruise, stated that tourists in Hanoi have various options for experiencing Ha Long Bay, including overnight, day, and night cruises. He added that cruise tours are fully booked during the peak summer season.

According to Phung Quang Thang, Chairman of Hanoi Travel Association, cultural and heritage tourism remains Vietnam’s strength. Heritage discovery tours in Vietnam consistently appeal to tourists’ emotions.

Nguyen Xuan Quynh, CEO of Allez Voyage travel company, believes that heritage tours are the key products of many travel agencies, particularly in the promotion strategy for international visitors.

Need for closer links
 The Paradise Cave in Quang Binh province. Photo: Van Phuc

In addition to the existing heritage tours, many travel agencies have recently developed new ones from Hanoi, such as the Hanoi to Quang Binh cave tour for adventurous tourists, or spiritual tourism routes starting from Thang Long Imperial Citadel in Hanoi to Tay Yen Tu in Bac Giang Province. However, many of these products have been discontinued shortly after their launch.

Explaining the short lifespan of these products, Thang stated that many of them did not consider the psychology of customers. Additionally, the level of connection and cooperation between destinations was insufficient, and many tours failed to convey attractive stories to tourists.

Pham Ha, Chairman of LuxGroup, a Hanoi-based travel company specializing in the inbound segment, believes that the current connection between places is still localized, making many products unattractive to visitors.

Vu The Binh, the chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, said that the crucial factor lies in the policy of integrating local governments and tour operators, effectively managing tourism sites, and developing human resources to create captivating cultural products, particularly targeted toward international tourists.

“To make cultural and heritage tourism sustainable, those in the tourism industry need to understand and respect local culture and avoid losing local identity,” he said.

According to Dang Huong Giang, Director of the Hanoi Tourism Department, the city is currently focusing on its preparatory plan to link tourism with other provinces such as Binh Dinh, Bac Giang, and Son La. She emphasized the importance of cooperation among these localities in building distinctive tourism products and urged more investment in the tourism sector.

New hope

Hanoi is currently focusing on its preparation plan to connect tourism with other provinces. Photo: Quang Hai

Recently, the National Assembly approved amendments to the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit, and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam, which will take effect from August 15, 2023.

The National Assembly agreed to extend the validity of the e-visa from 30 to 90 days, allow multiple entries, and extend the visa-free stay from 15 to 45 days.

Hoang Nhan Chinh, Secretary of the Tourism Advisory Board of Vietnam (TAB), said: “Vietnam’s tourism now has a tremendous opportunity to welcome a significant influx of international visitors who are inclined to stay for extended periods.”

Local insiders believe that to attract international tourists and encourage them to spend more in Vietnam, there needs to be a strategic approach and preparation for tourism businesses, focusing on developing long-term products.

This requires a stronger linkage between management agencies, localities, and travel firms.

Hanoi is expected to receive about 22 million visitors this year, an increase of 17.6% compared to last year. Of the total number, 19 million will be domestic tourists, representing a growth rate of 10.5% compared to 2022. In addition, the city’s tourism revenue is expected to reach VND77 trillion (US$3.26 billion), an annual rise of 28.2%.