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29/06/2022 - 10:52

The combination of culture and nature is Hue’s attraction

Prior to his trip to Hue, what only dish that Mr. Tan Zing Yan (a well-known businessman in Singapore) and his friends knew about Vietnamese cuisine was pho. As they arrived in Hue and enjoyed a variety of delicious cuisines of Hue, they have given a lot of compliments.

According to Mr. Tan Zing Yan, Hue needs to enhance the harnessing of culinary field, as well as the culture and the nature, and further promote its images. This will in turn certainly attract visitors from Singapore in the coming time.

Mr. Tan Zing Yan

You and your friends have been the first Singaporean visitors to Hue after more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Why did you choose Hue as your first trip?

My friend is a famous food blogger in Singapore. More than two years ago (in the pre-pandemic period), this blogger had come to Hue to make programs to promote and connect tourism between the two countries.

This friend shared those programs to me, and I was very impressed with the cuisine. The friend also advised me to come to Hue so as to experience the cuisine, if I had a chance. Right after that, my friends and I decided to make a trip, but we could not make it come true due to the pandemic.

Then, we know that Vietnam has reopened the door to tourism, and the restrictions have also been loosened. In Singapore, activities have also been back to normal. Like many visitors from other countries and Singapore, after being affected by the pandemic for a long time, we really want to travel. Therefore, my friends and I decided to travel right away, and Hue was our first choice.

After nearly a week of traveling, what is your impression about Hue?

Prior to our trip to Hue, the only dish that we knew about Vietnamese cuisine was pho. When we arrived, we enjoyed the dishes one by one inside ancient spaces, and with traditional costumes; or small and delicate but very tasty cakes. We have realized that Hue beef noodle soup is as delicious as Pho. Because of that uniqueness, on the days in Hue, the entire group was almost immersed in the "world" of cuisine here.

The cuisine in Hue is very special. Although it is not possible to accurately assess, as cuisine is also sensory, one thing we are sure of is that it is very delicate and different from everywhere. The cuisine has unique local characteristics, which are not mixed or blended with any other types of cuisine.

The dishes are arranged in a small manner, but elegant. Many rustic dishes have very high rustic character, while sophisticated royal dishes are sophisticated like no other.

Besides the cuisine, the values of history, culture, heritages and temples, etc., have also impressed us. In Singapore, it is impossible to meet with such traditional images. The locals here, the hospitality, friendliness, thoughtfulness of the tourism operators, and the destinations that we chose, are all very good. All makes our trip perfect.

Can you share about the tourism demand and tastes of Singaporean visitors; especially the changes Hue need to embrace in the post-pandemic period?

As I had mentioned above, the destinations in Singapore are almost man-made, which are far different from Hue, which has many nature conservation areas and wonderful natural landscapes. The Singaporeans are very fond of destinations associated with the nature, bringing them back to history. In Hue, the cultural, historical, and health care products, etc., meet the demand of Singaporean visitors.

High-end shopping of typical items from countries and localities is also a choice of the majority of Singaporean visitors.

In my opinion, in the post-pandemic period, the majority of Singaporeans tend to prefer nature-oriented tourism products, and participate in tours to improve health, such as cycling and using luxury resorts.

During nearly a week in Hue, I have found that Hue is home to many resorts and destinations towards nature and good health care. The combination of culture and the nature is a strength, which is needed to develop further by Hue.

In your opinion, what limitations does Hue have to overcome so as to further attract visitors?

There are two limitations, one of them is in immediate task and the other is in the long term. Firstly, the signboards are only written in one language, which is Vietnamese. I think that they should be added with other languages so as ​​to make them easier for foreign visitors to read, as they need to look for the way and the destinations. I think it should be English, the common language. In addition, at some destinations specializing in visitors from certain countries, the languages should be the ones of those countries.

The second limitation requires a long-term strategy, which is the further improvement in foreign languages ​​for the locals and tourism service providers. In most places where I have visited, the locals, the staffs, and even the owners could not speak English. I sometimes wanted to talk with them to understand more about your country and the destinations, but I could not.

This greatly limits the communication, creating a distance between visitors and the destinations. In our country, this issue is very focused and we have provided language training to the locals from young age, and the recruitment of those working in tourism service is also strict.

What should Hue do to attract Singaporean visitors?

The travel time from Singapore to Central Vietnam is about 2.5 hours by flight. In term of geographical distance, this is a huge advantage, strengthening the choice of visitors compared to other destinations in Asia. However, I find that the cost of air tickets is quite high, which should be considered by the management agencies and businesses.

For Singaporeans, the understanding of Hue is almost very small. Most of the images that I know I could only see them when I come here, while promotion images rarely appear in Singapore. Therefore, you need to further promote, create cultural activities and festivals so that Singaporeans will get to know more about Hue.

Thank you, Sir!

By Duc Quang

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