Hanoi seeks to attract foreign tourists in wake of Blackpink fever
Update: Jul 19, 2023
In recent years, Hanoi has hosted numerous concerts performed by legendary singers from around the world. The city has become a regular stage for world music tours, bringing with them foreign fans who discover the beauty of Vietnam along the way.

Destination for global music stars

 K-pop group Blackpink will perform in Hanoi at the end of July 2023. Photo: YG Entertainment 

The latest event is the South Korean group Blackpink concerts at My Dinh National Stadium, Hanoi, on July 29 and 30.

Since then, the number of people looking for tickets has skyrocketed. Especially the VIP tickets, which cost nearly VND10 million (US$422), were sold out as soon as they went on sale. The number of tourists flocking to Hanoi is also expected to soar to join the concerts.

This is not the first time Hanoi has been on the stage for world-renowned artists. In 2018, the bands of yesteryear Boney M and Modern Talking held their concerts at the Vietnam National Convention Center, attracting thousands of spectators.

Following these successes, the 2019 Monsoon Music Festival was held at the Thang Long Imperial Citadel and featured German band Scorpions, English singer Joss Stone, Irish band Kodaline, and British group Bond, among others.

Foreign visitors to Hanoi. Photo: Nancy Awaken 

Musician Quoc Trung, the festival's music director, said after the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam has become a performance destination for old-time stars from around the world.

"Christina Aguilera performed at the Hay Glamping Music Festival 2022 in Hanoi, which welcomed four global groups of other times, namely The Moffatts, A1, 911, and Blue," the musician illustrated his remark.

By organizing international music activities, Hanoi and Vietnam have promoted the brand of "a safe, friendly, and attractive destination."

The need for a specific music tourism strategy

According to travel experts, music tourism is a trend among young people. The global music tourism market is estimated to reach US$1.3 billion by 2033, providing opportunities for host countries to earn huge profits through catering and accommodation services. Blackpink's concert in Hanoi showed that Vietnam is an attractive market.

The Monsoon International Music Festival 2019 in Vietnam. Photo: Thanh Viet Production 

Vu Quynh Anh, CEO of Hoang Minh Travel, said that the upcoming concert of the South Korean group has already drawn a large number of tourists, increasing the city's tourism revenue. At the same time, a positive image has been created, identifying Hanoi as a culturally vibrant destination for music tourists.

Nguyen Hong Nhat, General Director of Asia Premier Cruises, said high-end tourism combined with performances, typically shown on yachts, is gaining popularity. "Vietnam will become a destination for art and music and can develop music tourism if there are proper mechanisms for investment and coordination," he noted.

Meanwhile, Phung Quang Thang, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Travel Association, believes that tourists are often willing to spend on related services, products, local goods, and cuisine to see their idols perform in person. This means that the demand from tourists is always huge - whether the supply is professional enough to meet this demand.

The "Paradiso Dell' Opera" musical program took place in mid-June 2023 at the Hanoi Opera House. Photo: VNOB 

Experts said the link between travel companies and event organizers, in addition to the cooperation of regulators, is essential to accommodate a large influx of tourists-event goers.

"Multiple mechanisms for major art and music events can increase the number of visitors to Vietnam, as artists are the travel ambassadors who can most effectively and economically introduce Vietnam's image and culture to the international market," Phung Quang Thang stressed.

To take advantage of performances such as Blackpink's and promote Vietnam's music tourism, Dr. Daisy Kanagasapapathy from RMIT University Vietnam suggested that the tourism sector develop tours that combine concert tickets with suitable travel itineraries, prolonging the stay of music tourists.

On the other hand, it is also important to improve the infrastructure - including airports, hotels, and transportation - for foreign visitors to travel comfortably in Vietnam.

Jenna Duong - Hoai Nam

Hanoi Times - hanoitimes.vn - July 18, 2023