ClockMonday, 01/07/2024 10:13

Economic development from Hue Festival

TTH.VN - With each edition of Hue Festival, in addition to its role as a place of convergence and interference of unique cultures around the world, the exploitation of the festival to promote economic development is becoming increasingly evident.

From Hue Festival 2024, reflections on Perfume River festival spaceThe mystical Festival of lights

 A Hue kite team in the street festival program at Hue Festival 2024. Photo: Nguyen Phong

And so, Hue International Arts Festival Week 2024, themed “Cultural Heritage with Integration and Development”, which took place from June 7 to 12, came to a close. After bustling and exciting days, as residents and visitors eagerly went to join the festival, Hue city returns to its daily routine.

Every time a festival takes place, the city becomes crowded, the streets are often jammed with people flocking to the festivals and community performance stages. However, it is a pleasant kind of crowdedness. The city is lively, stays up late, and sees an increase in services, leading to a sharp rise in revenue. Chatting with a street vendor near the 3/2 Park performance stage, she smiled and happily said: “Some people might find large crowds uncomfortable, I personally would love the festival to last long, even year-round, it will be even better if there are festivals every day. Every time there's a festival, my income surges, my sales increase by 7-8 times on some days.”

 Being exciting with Hue Festival 2024

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Binh, Standing Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, Head of the Organizing Committee of Hue Festival 2024, emphasized that Hue was the pioneer locality in the country to change the organizational structure from a single festival to a series of festivals throughout the year in the form of four seasons. This aims to deeply promote the cultural colors of the ancient capital land, create momentum to stimulate tourism demand, and socio-economic development. A year-round festival schedule offers visitors a wider range of choices to choose throughout their visit in Hue. In particular, creating a continuous festival atmosphere, service providers have more “peak” periods to serve customers.

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Binh cited examples of festivals like the Beer Festival, the Food Festival, and the Royal banquet, etc., which had strong appeal and increased their ability to attract visitors year by year. One thing that must be emphasized is that many programs are socialized, with businesses and organizations participating and sharing the financial “burden” of organizing costs with the Organizing Committee.

In terms of visitors alone, during the 7 days of Hue Festival 2024, Hue attracted more than 101,000 visitors; of which 50,000 guests stayed overnight. The average room occupancy rate at hotels is over 70%. On the first two days of the Week, the number of guests booking rooms increased, most hotels had room occupancy rates reaching 95 - 100%.

 The Vegetarian Food Festival attracted a large number of diners

Traveling back in time, the initial goal of Hue Festival was to stimulate demand and attract visitors to Hue. Over the years, this goal has now become increasingly evident and well-defined in the approaches in organizing and exploiting tourism. Businesses, which previously stood on the sidelines or participated minimally, are now involved in developing the festival into a tourism product. Mr. Do Ngoc Co, Chairman of the Provincial Tourism Association, stated that most members of the Association were participating as ticket agents for Hue Festival 2024. Incorporating activities and programs of the festival into their tour packages has enabled them to quickly sell out their allotted tickets. The economic benefits of developing festival as a tourism product have become abundantly clear.

Comprehensive exploitation scenarios

Through each edition of the Festival, valuable lessons are learned, so that Hue Festival can increasingly perfect and enhance the professionalism in the process of organizing. According to the Organizing Committee, Hue Festival 2024 is no longer under pressure in its organizing work, as accumulated experience has streamlined and optimized the process. These factors pave the way for the festival to expand its scenarios towards higher goals, particularly in leveraging the festival for socio-economic development, and maximizing the potential of the “cultural industry”.

Through each edition, the question is what benefits does Thua Thien Hue derive from the festival? Quantifying the economic benefits of Hue Festival using mathematical methods is difficult. While it is not easy to determine a precise figure for the total revenue generated by the festival, but it can be considered through relative numbers from the increased number of visitors to Hue, the revenue generated from certain festivals with tickets, the Food Festival, or the estimated revenues of restaurants, eateries, and street vendors, etc.

 Young audiences joined the Beer Festival during Hue Festival 2024

According to Mr. Nguyen Thanh Binh, evaluating the festival's success requires a multifaceted approach. Firstly, it must be emphasized that Hue Festival 2024 continues to affirm its brand as a forum for exchanging heritage elements from regions and cultures around the world. This year's festival marked the most comprehensive showcase since the COVID-19 pandemic. Hue Festival 2024 has affirmed the value of Hue culture and cultural heritage in contributing to making Hue become a national cultural and tourism center in line with the spirit of Resolution 54 of the Politburo. The achievements of Hue Festival are worthy of being a cultural center, where countries wish to express the spirit of cultural exchange.

At Hue Festival 2024, there are new types and innovations in performance and ways of expressing between traditional and contemporary elements. The application of additional technologies in performances created a diverse and colorful cultural space in the general context of the festival city. The festival continued to have collaborative products with important partners of Hue Festival, which are those of France. Specifically, the lighting project at Thai Binh Lau, Hue Imperial Citadel, which will be a product to be exploited for tourism in the future. Some localities in the province also organized many cultural and artistic activities so that locals and visitors can not only immerse themselves in the festival space, but also immerse themselves in the sounds and lights of special art shows.

According to the Head of the Organizing Committee of Hue Festival 2024, from the reality of Hue Festival 2024, it requires more thorough, more detailed scenarios and alternative plans in the future, if unfavorable situations are to occur, affecting the festival’s organization. Like this year, the weather factors greatly affected the activities, despite the eventual success of the events and festivals. There are adaptive scenarios for Hue Festival to increasingly perfect its organizing technology, reaching the professionalism of a large-scale festival; or alternative experiences for visitors so that tours can still operate normally...

Story and photos: Duc Quang
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