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Jun 19, 2018 / 19:38

Hanoi-CNN partnership: A long journey to walk

The US’s cable news network (CNN) and Hanoi has shaken hands in bring the city`s image to the world with a two-year cooperation deal starting 2017. The partnership is expected to enter a new phase.

A push to Hanoi tourism
According to the report on tourism of Hanoi released recently for the first six months of 2018, the city keeps being an attractive spot, especially for foreign travelers, with the 3.1 million international tourists landing on the city in the period, a year-on-year increase of 26%.
Among those, 2.2 billion foreign tourists stayed longer than a single day stay, marking a climb of nearly 27% against the same period last year. They came from about 190 countries and territories, including high-spending areas such as  Western Europe, Northern America, and Northeast Asia, etc.

Destination Hanoi - a special program included in the promotion deal signed between Hanoi and CNN
Destination Hanoi - a special program included in the promotion deal signed between Hanoi and CNN

Evidently enough, changes seen in Hanoi’s tourism scene can mostly be attributed to the city's efforts in diversifying the promotion channel.
Five or six years ago, it was quite rare to find a tourism ad of Hanoi on international media channels. Now billions of potential tourists in the world can, for example, marvel at a hot cup of egg coffee—a Hanoi specialty—via CNN’s articles or catch a glimpse of the spider-web-like alleys of the city through video clips that leave them wanting more. These ads were created through the US$2-million promotion program signed between Hanoi and the cable news network during 2017-2018.
In 2018, according to leader of the Hanoi Tourism Department, the 30-second clips feature the capital’s scenery and heritage were aired on iCNN.  
According to CNN’s broadcast schedule for “Destination Hanoi” program in Asia, Europe, Middle East, North America, and South Asia, short clips from 3-5 minutes were aired for 40 times on CNN Today and News Stream between June 11-15, while a 30-minute special program would be shown 12 times between June 16 and 20.
Hanoi attracts 92% of CNN’s audiences
Coming to Hanoi’s hidden gems, Sunita Rajan, Senior Vice President, Advertising Sales, Asia Pacific, CNN International Commercial, believes they will stun viewers across the globe.
“This 1,000-year-old city has cuisine that cannot be found anywhere else in the world,” Sunita told Hanoitimes when CNN signed up for the campaign in 2016.

Foreign tourist in Hanoi walking street. Photo: Hong Hanh
Foreign tourist in Hanoi walking street. Photo: Hong Hanh

The program has proven to be highly effective in spreading images of the city across the rest of the world after only one year on air. “Feedback from an independent third-party survey released in early 2018 by the UK’s largest research consultancy, BDRC Continental, showed that the majority of respondents developed an interest in Hanoi and wanted to visit the city after watching some of CNN’s shows such as #MYHANOI and Hanoi POV,” affirmed Sunita.
Accordingly, nearly 93% of respondents agreed that the ad showed them that Hanoi has many interesting sites and places, while 92% were impressed with the tourism activities available in the city and were reinforced in the belief that the city is a worthy holiday destination. The figures state that respondents who regularly watched CNN’s coverage would be more likely to travel to Hanoi than non-regular audience (17% vs. 11%).
Further cooperation expected
The CNN’s leader also noted that a two year period is not enough, only marking the start of a promotion campaign for Hanoi on global scale.
Hanoi aims to lure around 5.7 million international arrivals, with total revenue from tourists reaching VND120 trillion (US$5.2 billion) by 2020, a goal that Sunita from CNN affirmed a four-year promotion campaign needs to fulfil.
It’s a modest strategy for Hanoi to meet the target of turning tourism into its spearhead economic sector by the time, she added.
Specifically, according to Sunita, via the promotion deal from 2017 to 2018, CNN has posed an “exploration” period for audience through introducing Hanoi to the world with different aspects from celebrities and Hanoians. This period will lead to another key phase in 2019, when the promotion program heads to interact with audiences. The year 2020 will be the “influential” stage, is that the promotion campaign would start to influence the viewers, pushing them to come to Hanoi for their direct experience.
Further stories of Hanoi told by CNN would be in video platform, attached with messages like “Tell me what I have never knew about” or “Show me what I have never seen before,” etc., Sunita said.
On this matter, Head of Hanoi Tourism Department Tran Duc Hai said: “During the remaining six months of 2018, we will round up the cooperation program with CNN during 2017 and 2018 as well as propose the upcoming plan for the next two years.”