The country is home to a variety of festivals that promote the Vietnamese cultural identity and tradition. The festivals, which are considered great cultural activities, are celebration in all the localities in Vietnam. Typical festivals include the Hung Kings Temple festivals, Lim festival, Yen Tu festival, and Huong Pagoda festival.
Vietnam has focussed on promoting traditional festivals along with national tourism brand in recent years. The Vietnam tourism development strategy until 2020 also intends to develop typical tourist products for each locality and region in close connection with traditional festivals.
There are some cities and provinces have so far succeeded in attracting visitors through tourism festivals.
Vietnam has 8,000 festivals yearly but there is no one attractive enough to foreigners.
Da Nang City is typical with the Da Nang International Fireworks Festival, which is held one a year with the aim to help the city become a unique cultural festival tourism space. A series of events such as carnival festivals, food festivals and art exhibitions also take place during the festival. In this way, the city doubled the number of visitors during two months of the festival.
Lao Cai also made a breakthrough in 2017 by introducing some unique products like the Sun World Fansipan tourism site, with a series of festivals such as the Northwest Wine - Cuisine Festival, Festival of Khen-flowers, Azaleas Festival.
Experts said that promoting traditional festivals as tourist products will help ensure sustainable growth for the tourism sector and increase the sector’s competitiveness. It will also help preserve Vietnam’s traditional cultural values.
According to Le Quoc Hung, former Vietnamese general consul in California, attractive products coupled with national culture and professional services are the pillars of a sustainable tourism industry.
Werner R. Murhadi from Indonesia’s University of Surabaya laid stress on Vietnam’s cultural and natural heritages, as core factors to boost tourism growth.
There has been an increasing number of foreign tourists to ASEAN nations, he said, highlighting the fact that intriguing experiences will lure more visitors to the region.
However, experts said that it is necessary to invest to have a national festival. Though up to 8,000 festivals are celebrated each year, Vietnam still does not have any famous festival that can make foreigners remember when talking to Vietnam due to a lack of proper investment, they said, adding that festival tourism in Vietnam is still considered ‘seasonal products’ while the potentials of this type in the world are extremely attractive.
The experts take Japan as an example. When talking about Japan, visitors never forget the Cherry Blossom festival that lasts from March to May.
Similarly, every year many tourists are excited to attend the Songkran Water Festival in Thailand or the unique Carnival in Brazil.
Some international festivals even make a great contribution to economic development of the host country. The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro brings about US$6 million for Brazil’s economy while the world’s largest beer festival in Munich receives over 1 billion euro from 6 million visitors in two weeks.
“We can create new products or renew old products to make our tourist products more attractive. We need to invest in, promote, and establish trademarks to make our tourist products more professional,” Nguyen Van Tuan, general director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said.