Creativity in tourism promotion

Hai Phong cuisine map is a popular search term on social networks, becoming a product that attracts local tourists, especially young people, to the port city. After nearly two months of being released by the Hai Phong Department of Tourism, the "Check-in Hai Phong" map, has created a "phenomenon" in domestic tourism.

"Check-in Hai Phong" map of Hai Phong Department of Tourism. (Photo:
"Check-in Hai Phong" map of Hai Phong Department of Tourism. (Photo:

The map is shown as very modern, and youthful catching the "trend" of young people and is distributed free of charge at Hai Phong Railway Station, Cat Bi Airport and Department of Tourism Headquarters.

Besides the dishes that have created Hai Phong's brand such as 'Banh da cua', a dish featuring banh da (locally-made flat rice noodles), crab meat, pork broth and vegetables, bun ca cay (spicy fish noodle soup), nem cua be (crab spring rolls) and banh mi cay (spicy bread), the culinary map brings visitors to other delicious dishes such as nom bo kho (dried beef salad), crab hotpot and chrysanthemum tea, with a detailed and meticulous introduction of the address and time frame for visitors to enjoy and experience.

A large number of tourists flocked to Hai Phong to enjoy the food as indicated on the map. On social networks, the topic of a delicious food map was discussed enthusiastically in forums and groups with millions of views and comments.

The shops named on the culinary map are enjoyed by many young people, showing the special attraction of Hai Phong street food.

Next time, the Hai Phong Department of Tourism is expected to launch a new version of the map of delicacies, which is more extensive in the number of dishes, but the criteria for selecting addresses to put on the map are more refined to suit the needs of taste and trends for tourists nationwide, towards serving international tourists.

Experts at the Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) assessed that the Hai Phong culinary map is a creative way to suit the market and the needs of tourists, creating an attraction for tourists after a long period affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The product has a combination of businesses and state management agencies, between local communities and businesses, creating a spillover effect, and trusting tourists.

As Vietnam's tourism is recovering from the epidemic, it is necessary to have more creative ways of advertising and promotion like this one. The important thing is to come up with a product that suits the needs of visitors and creates a unique and distinctive look.

TAB's survey shows that the demand for culinary discovery ranks third in the priority order of domestic tourists (after beach resorts and nature exploration), higher than cultural exploration, entertainment, heritage, and festivals. Some localities and tourism businesses have organised and exploited food tours, from street food, and rustic and traditional dishes to experiences at cooking classes or luxury restaurants.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the cuisine is one of the unique advantages of each country, the combination of cuisine and tourism creates great opportunities for tourism development and promotion. The cuisine is an indispensable part of each tourism product and contributes to creating attraction for visitors.

In Vietnamese tourism, cuisine is both a tourism product and a tool to promote tourism. Many international visitors see Vietnamese cuisine as an exploration of Vietnamese culture.

Therefore, every time Vietnam participates in tourism promotion at major fairs around the world, there are always typical culinary dishes at the Vietnamese booth. And in fact, many Vietnamese dishes have been honoured internationally, becoming an advantage to attract international tourists.

Many international experts believe that Vietnam needs to focus on developing culinary tourism so that it can become the "kitchen of the world" in the future. But to develop culinary tourism, there must be a methodical plan and creative ways, in which businesses, local people, and management agencies understand and work together. The Hai Phong culinary map is an example of creativity and efficiency.

The tourism industry needs to develop food-specific video clips to promote abroad; coordinate with Vietnamese restaurant systems in other countries to select Vietnamese culinary themes; invite famous chefs as Tourism Ambassadors to introduce Vietnamese cuisine to international friends; build a database on cuisine to promote culinary tourism as well as using culinary images to promote general tourism in Vietnam.

Most recently, on June 17, there was a good indication when the Vietnam Cuisine Culture Association announced the project on "Building and developing Vietnamese culinary culture into a national brand" for the period between 2022- 2024. Starting with specific products and collecting a database of 300 typical Vietnamese dishes and selecting 100 unique local culinary dishes in 2022, then collecting a database of 1,000 culinary dishes, and developing them into a total Vietnamese cuisine dataset in 2023 and converting the database number into a Vietnamese Culinary Map, to build the Vietnam Culinary Museum in 2024.

The most important thing is that the project will associate the national brand of culinary culture with the brand of tourism destinations, to contribute to attracting international visitors and developing domestic tourism.

Translated by NDO