The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has for the first time nominated Hanoi alongside 17 other big cities around the world.
The other cities are: Auckland (New Zealand), Cape Town and Durban (South Africa), Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Las Vegas and New York (the U.S.), Lisbon (Portugal), London (the U.K.), Marrakech (Morocco), Paris (France), Quito (Ecuador), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Saint-Petersburg (Russia), Sydney (Australia) and Lisbon (Portugal).
The winner will be determined by votes from travellers around the world. Voting is open online on several platforms including sodulich.hanoi.gov, and the voting time will last until October 24 this year.
Voters are required to register for an account at www.worldtravelawards.com before casting their vote.
Tran Duc Hai, director of Hanoi’s tourism department, said it was a great opportunity for Hanoi to promote its history, culture and tourism image among international friends, and this nomination would boost the city’s tourism sector.
A peaceful morning of autumn in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Quang Vu
In early March last year, the American television network CNN started airing two commercials featuring the best features of the ancient capital to people around the world as part of a $2 million deal with the city.
After a year of broadcasting, the ads have gained positive results, evident in a 23 percent year-on-year surge in foreign tourist arrivals to five million last year.
A survey conducted by U.K. research firm BDRC Continental found 92 percent of respondents saying the ads on CNN have sparked interest in traveling to Hanoi, as the capital city had a lot to discover in terms of food, shopping, culture and historical relics.
Hanoi recorded 20 million tourist arrivals in the first nine months of this year, up 9.2 percent from a year ago. Of these 4.3 million were foreign visitors, a year-on-year increase of 20 percent.
Earlier this year, TripAdvisor readers ranked Hanoi in 12th position on a list of the world’s top 25 destinations, alongside Paris and Rome.
Last August, Hanoi and HCMC were named among the 15 best destinations in Asia by the U.S. News newspaper.
The World Travel Awards was launched in 1993 to acknowledge excellence in the travel and tourism industry and is now in its 25th year. Heralded as the “travel industry’s equivalent of the Oscars” by The Wall Street Journal, the awards are handed out based on votes by the public and travel professionals across the globe.