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07/03/2020 - 07:48

Festival with the role of developing tourism

After 20 years of establishment and development, Hue Festival has become an event of great significance to the provincial economy, especially for the tourism industry.

Hue culture is closer to the public with each Hue Festival (The art show “Van hien kinh ky [Culture and Civilization of the Ancient Capital]” at Hue Festival 2018)

A “kick off” of Hue tourism

After 20 years, 10 sessions have been organized and the 11th one is being aimed at; it is long enough to evaluate and recognize the effectiveness and impact of Hue Festival on the economy and politics of the province.

At a recent signing ceremony of sponsorship for Hue Festival 2020, Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, Deputy Head of the Standing Committee as well as Organizing Committee (OC) of Hue Festival 2020, Mr. Nguyen Dung said that Hue Festival has become a trademark. After times of organization, the festival has brought to Hue a new look and vitality, affirming its position as a typical festival city of Vietnam - one of the unique cultural and tourist centers of the country; stimulating the needs and increasing the number of tourists coming to Hue.

According to the representative of OC of Festival Hue 2020, saying that Hue Festival is a tourism product is exact but not enough. The nature of organizing Hue Festival is to preserve and promote cultural values, thereby developing tourism. Each festival focuses on honoring some of the region's cultural values, highlighting the quintessential culture, arts, and culture with thought-provoking meanings that could not be organized on normal days.

Despite such assessments, it must be affirmed that the impacts from Hue Festival have brought Hue tourism industry a lot of opportunities to develop, from promoting images, developing available local potentials, increasing profits in hotel and accommodation services to creating jobs and promoting economic development.

The positive effects from Hue Festivals can easily be seen as to help form the products of night markets, handicraft items, new tours and routes such as those of garden house, old town, green Hue, countryside markets and old villages.

Statistics of the last 3 festivals show that in 2014, there were more than 230,000 visitor arrivals, which increase by 25% compared to Hue Festival 2012; in which, more than 100,000 international visitor arrivals from 115 countries and territories. In Hue Festival 2016, although the time was shortened to 6 days compared to the previous ones in 9 days , the Festival welcomed about 250,000 visitor arrivals.

In Hue Festival 2018, the province attracted nearly 1.2 million attendants in which there were about 420,000 tourists, an increase of 30% compared to 2017; visitors are estimated at 120,000, international guests accounted for 60% of the total.

Acting Director of the Department of Tourism Le Huu Minh said that at each Hue Festival, hotels in Hue are all full. The average growth rate of tourists to Hue increases from 20% to 25% over each festival. This is a stable number and it increases steadily, showing a sustainable growth.

Through Hue Festival, accommodations, restaurants and garden houses are also invested in and their service quality has also been improved. The connection between tourism and culture is increasingly tight, becoming a unique feature of Hue tourism.

In addition, the festival each year has witnessed the presence of thousands of artists, professional actors and extras, hundreds of politicians, diplomats and so on. This is the best promotion channel for Hue tourism.

The city of festivals

Hue Festival is the Hue's biggest stimulus activity in the year.  Whenever the Festivals are held, the programs are highly interactive so that people and visitors can experience the reality. Especially at each festival, community tourism in Hue is also increasingly developed in large scale, whereby the lives of people in the region are gradually improved by developing tourism under this model.

Director of Hue Festival Center as well as Deputy Director of Hue Festival 2020, Mr. Huynh Tien Dat, acknowledged that in order for Hue Festival to truly be an international cultural and artistic festival, the program must maintain its identity and at the same time fulfil the needs of the audience.

The structure of the art program and the participation of the performing groups need to have a balanced ratio of traditional, contemporary or unique criteria for young people. Investing in high-class programs will enhance the festival, attract sponsors and raise revenue from ticket sales.

Mr. Le Huu Minh said that, over the years, Hue Festival has a great significance in promoting the development of tourism industry, creating attractive products, however, there is still the opinion that the time of the festival is still short, some activities are not really stimulating. Therefore, the addition of more festivals and large-scale events held monthly or quarterly is essential to the sustainable development of the province's tourism industry.

Agreeing with the above opinion, Chairman of the Provincial Tourism Association, Mr. Dinh Manh Thang, said that Hue must be the city of the festivals, in which, taking Hue Festival as the center. Hue has 3 products that can be organized into festivals: culture, spirituality and cuisine. This is the difference between Hue and other regions; the basic factor for Hue to attract tourists and to stimulate tourism needs.

According to Mr. Huynh Tien Dat, the construction of Hue to become a cultural city, a culinary capital, a typical festival city of Vietnam in order to create endemic tourism products and attract tourists is the right thing to do. This creates not only product chains but also good opportunities for Hue culture to be introduced and promoted better.

Story and photo: Quang Sang

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