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25/09/2018 - 07:45

Hue has many opportunities to develop sports tourism

In late August and early September, Hue hosted two large-scale sports events. If the city keeps hosting these events and adds other sports activities, there will be an opportunity to develop tourism products associated with sports for Hue in the future.

Sports activities attract visitors. Photo: Anh Khoa

Stimulating tourism demand

The two large-scale sports events were the “Coupe de Hue 2018” Gran Fondo Sportive cycling event (from August 25 to 26) and the “Hue International Marathon 2018” (on September 2). According to Mr. Nguyen Van Phuc, Deputy Director of the Department of Tourism, these sports events had the same purposes. They not only served sport lovers across Vietnam and worldwide, but also promoted Hue, thereby stimulating tourism demand, affirming Hue as a green, clean, beautiful destination, with friendly and ideal environment for domestic and international visitors.

Mr. Nguyen Dinh Anh Khoa, Chairman of Hue Sportive Cycling Club (MTB), organizer of the “Coupe De Hue 2018” said that a highlight of the race was the route that riders would go through. They rode across the most beautiful roads, and famous places of Hue tourism. Specifically, the riders started at Phu Van Lau, headed to Thien Mu pagoda, then to Temple of Literature, then went down to Than wharf by boats. After that, they went to ‘Thanh Toan tile bridge’, took a rest, and “recharged”, then rode to Thuan An beach. Next, they rode around Tam Giang lagoon, stopped at Con Toc wharf, and returned to Hue city.

In the framework of these two events, besides the main activities of racing and running, there were a series of community-based tourism and philanthropic activities. The riders visited Hue’s heritages, scavenged to protect the environment, organized music festival nights, and beer festival so that they could exchange and connect with one another, etc.

Mapping route for the “Coupe De Hue 2018”

According to the organizers, ahead of the opening day, some 1,500 professional and amateur athletes had registered to participate in the two events. The leader of the Department of Tourism shared that the sports festival attracted not only athletes, but also their family members, and friends (which were expected to be three times more than the number of athletes). With their 2 to 3 nights spent in Hue, participation in activities, and usage of services, the revenue from these two events was substantial.

Mr. Nguyen Van Phuc said that in order to make good impression on the friendliness and hospitality of Hue people and enterprises, especially accommodation businesses, the sector had called on hotels, and asked Tourism Association, Hotel Association, and Travel Association to appeal their member units’ support to reduce the prices of all room services, additional services, transportation services, food and beverages, etc., for athletes and their families, as well as members of the organizing committee, and national referees participating in the races, from August 23 to 28 and from August 31 to September 3, respectively.

More attractive products

Mr. Nguyen Dinh Anh Khoa shared that it was not a race, but a festival, to bring people together, from politicians to ordinary people. There was no distinction between the rich and the poor, and ages as there was only common passion and love for cycling.

The organization of "Hue International Marathon 2018" said that there was a "Family Racing" content within the event. This was a great opportunity for all family members attending it. The race was not about winning or losing, people came to experience and have moments of happiness together.

It also said that the "Coupe De Hue 2018" had been registered to the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and would certainly have it next times. Furthermore, the tournament would be more prestigious, and gather more celebrities. This was the opportunity to promote Hue tourism. “We look forward to organizing next events longer, as well as having series of events so as to attract more participants, which will become a cycling festival held in Hue,” shared Nguyen Dinh Anh Khoa.

The “Coupe De Hue 2018” second season is set to be held on September 22, 2019. Mr. Nguyen Van Phuc said that sports activities would increase the attractiveness of Hue, add supportive products, aiming to attract young visitors enjoying sports and exchanging with the community. With sports tourism, Hue could also develop other products, such as volunteer tourism, and MICE tourism. The tourism sector would strengthen the organization of sports activities in off-peak season to stimulate demand, and increase the number of visitors to Hue.

Recently, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has held a workshop to evaluate and orient sports tourism products in the country at present and in the future. With the first steps and confirmation for the next times, along with the strongly rising trend of sports tourism, Hue is capable of attracting visitors via sports.

Story and photos: Duc Quang

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