As Hanoi is poised to host the second meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this week, the municipal administration sees the occasion as a great opportunity to polish the country’s image for various purposes.
Hanoi chairman Nguyen Duc Chung on Sunday called for promotion of elegance and hospitality from all people of the Vietnamese capital city ahead of, during and after the Trump-Kim summit, as he chaired a session to review preparation for the meeting, scheduled for February 27-28.
The U.S.-North Korea meeting is the opportunity for people in Hanoi in particular and across Vietnam in general to introduce the Vietnamese capital to international friends as a dynamic and safe city that really deserves the “City for Peace” title that the UNESCO gave it 20 years ago, Chung said.
The Hanoi chairman said that the city’s administration has “synchronously implemented all measures and solutions” to prepare for the summit, and closely coordinated with the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Defense to ensure security for the meeting.
“We call on all levels of the city government, as well as the people of Hanoi and the whole country, to make international tourists coming here see Hanoi as a friendly and hospitable city,” he emphasized.
Responding to this call, some Hanoi citizens told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that they are of the same mind as the Hanoi chairman.
Phan Dieu Huong, an office worker, said that the success of the summit would greatly contribute to the “City for Peace” title of the capital.
“We need to take this opportunity to attract investment and develop tourism,” said Huong.
“As Vietnam is chosen to host this special event, foreign investors will see that Vietnam is not only a country with political stability and security but also a very sustainable environment for investment,” she elaborated.
|Nguyen Duc Chung, chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre|
Echoing this view, Hoang Van Son, CEO of Natur Fish, a food import and export company, said that more and more tourists from the U.S., South Korea and many other countries will come to Vietnam after this event.
The upcoming summit is a chance for more meaningful images of world leaders doing something ‘very Vietnamese’ to spread around the globe, Son said.
He was referring to photos that show former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull eating banh mi (Vietnamese bread) in the central city of Da Nang, former U.S. President Obama eating bun cha (rice noodles with grilled pork and meatballs) in Hanoi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau drinking sidewalk coffee in Ho Chi Minh City, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe walking in the famed Hoi An Ancient Town, during their respective trips to Vietnam.
“Vietnam will continue to capture the attention of world travelers if similar photos are to emerge on the occasion of this summit,” Son said.
The Hanoi summit will be the second meeting between President Trump and Chairman Kim in less than a year after a historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.
Duong Quoc Binh, lecturer at the Academy of Journalism and Communication, said without specifying sources that Singapore’s tourist numbers in 2018 increased by 6.2 percent year on year, and the city-state raked in more than US$500 million in tourism revenue from hosting the historic meeting.
Binh thus expressed his hope that Vietnam could also take this chance to improve its tourism, adding that people can start helping promote the country’s image from such small actions as increasing their awareness when traveling on the streets or stopping littering in public places.