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Jul 16, 2023 / 15:44

Hanoi aims to become “City of Events”

The city has stepped up its efforts to become a hub of innovation in the region and home to a wide variety of cultural events both nationally and internationally.

In recent years, many national and international events have been successfully held in Hanoi, attracting many visitors from all over the world, making the capital city more modern and dynamic based on its thousand-year-old history and culture.

Hanoi has successfully organized the International Photography Biennale Photo Hanoi'23. International visitors attended the event's closing ceremony on June 3 at Art and Culture Center 22 Hang Buom, Hanoi. Photo: Hanoi Photo 23

Hanoi's goal is to become an innovation hub in the region, with cultural resources and creativity as the foundation for the city's sustainable urban development, marking the 15th anniversary of its administrative boundary expansion in 2008. It is also part of the city's efforts to fulfill its commitments as a member of the UNESCO Network of Creative Cities.

An eventful city

The organization of large-scale events has been promoted in the capital since the issuance of the Government Resolution on the development of Hanoi's cultural industry between 2021 and 2025 on February 22, 2022.

It is worth mentioning the announcement ceremony of Michelin-starred Vietnamese restaurants in Hanoi (three) and Ho Chi Minh City (one), which was held in Hanoi on June 6.

This is seen as a significant milestone that will enhance the reputation of Vietnamese culinary culture and boost tourism in Hanoi and Vietnam.

More recently, the spotlight has been on the upcoming two-night concert in Hanoi at the end of July by BlackPink - one of South Korea's most popular pop groups.

The famous Korean girl band BlackPink will hold a performance in Hanoi later this month. Photo: BlackPink 

Other international events hosted by the capital include the Monsoon Music Festival, Hanoi International Film Festival (HANIFF), Photo Hanoi'23 Biennale, 14th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, Hanoi Culinary and Tourism Festival 2021, 31st SEA Games, Vietnam Airlines Classic - Hanoi Concert 2019, Hanoi Street Carnival 2019, Japan Cherry Blossom Festival 2019, and Korean Days in Hanoi 2017, among others.

Building brands for cultural events, according to Bui Hoai Son, a Standing Member of the National Assembly's Committee on Culture and Education, is critical to the development of the cultural business.

He said these activities create highlights for localities, especially tourist attractions, and provide opportunities for artists to showcase their talents and interact with colleagues, audiences, and other stakeholders.

In this way, Vietnamese events and artists will gradually gain a foothold on the global map of arts and culture, promoting the country's diverse arts.

Beyond the cultural sphere, with effective branding, cultural events can extend their impact to the socio-economic development of the locality and the country, building soft power in the current international integration process.

 Exhibition “Hanoi - A City in Photography”/ International Photography Biennale Photo Hanoi'23. Photo: Nguyen The Son

Strengthening the city’s brand

Many experts have believed that the successful organization of major cultural festivals and events in Hanoi is the key to the development of various fields of the cultural industry.

However, for Hanoi to become a "city of events" and a popular destination in the region, a clear and specific strategy is also needed.

People's Artist Nguyen Trung Hieu - Director of the Hanoi Drama Theater said with Vietnam's long history, unique traditional culture and diverse art forms, it is quite possible to organize events on an international scale.

"But the task requires the mobilization of various resources, including state and social resources, resources from Vietnam and abroad, funding, workforce, and infrastructure," said 

For Hanoi, he said it still lacks cultural and sports facilities and public spaces.

The exhibition "Fashion Photography" is an event of the International Photography Biennale Photo Hanoi'23, which took place from May 12 to 30 at Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi. Photo: Chu Viet Ha

For the city's 10 million residents, no square or park can accommodate about 50,000 people for a major event. Hang Day Stadium has a capacity of only 22,500 seats, while My Dinh National Stadium is managed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Bui Hoai Son sees Hanoi as the heart of Vietnam, the pulse of the nation's cultural development. Therefore, promoting Hanoi's culture requires both the city's internal drive and the support of others, especially central authorities, he said.

Bringing international events to Hanoi requires the participation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and even the government.

It is not only about the capital but also about the representative image of the whole country.

At the 2022 Cultural Conference, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Nguyen Van Phong emphasized that the city's brand must be built through events, not only at the city level, but also gradually at the annual and international level.

The Hanoi People's Committee has issued an implementation plan with 45 tasks, 10 of which involve policy changes and administrative reforms to facilitate the development of cultural industries.

In addition, the city has also identified 30 major cultural events held annually at home and abroad and decided to focus resources on the selected sector according to the city's financial capacity. From 2021 to 2025, Hanoi will allocate about VND14,000 billion (US$588 million) for cultural development in general.