1.Record 10 million international tourists visit Viá»t Nam
Viá»t Nam has received more than 10 million foreign tourists in 2016 – a new record for the country’s tourism industry, exceeding the target of 8.6 million tourists. The new record also contributes to confirming that Viá»t Nam has become one of the safest, most attractive and friendly destinations in the Asia-Pacific Region.
British citizen Michael Tonge became the 10 millionth tourist entering the country when he arrived on PhÃº Quá»c Island on Christmas Day. Tonge and two other lucky tourists, the 9,999,999th from Germany and 10,000,001th from Sweden, who flew in on the same plane to vacation on the Island, were presented with medals and souvernirs.
Viá»t Nam targets 11.5 million international tourists and 66 million domestic ones in 2017, and revenues of VNÄ460 triillion (US$21 billion).
2. Resolution on developing tourism as key industry
The Politburo issued a resolution in December on developing tourism into a key industry. The event marks a milestone for the country’s tourism development in the years to come.
In August, the national conference on tourism development was inaugurated in Há»i An City in the central province of Quáº£ng Nam. It was the first time Viá»t Nam held a national-scale conference on tourism, chaired by Prime Minister Nguyá» n XuÃ¢n PhÃºc. The destination for 2017 National Tourism Year will be the northwestern region.
3. UNESCO recognises two VN cultural heritages
Woodblocks at PhÃºc Giang School in the central province of HÃ TÄ©nh was recognised as a UNESCO Documentary Heritage by Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific (MOWCAP) in May. Created by the Nguyá» n Huy family between the 18th and 20th centuries, the blocks were used for teaching and learning at the school in TrÆ°á»ng LÆ°u Village. The total set used to number 2,000 blocks, but only 394 are well-preserved. They are the only ancient woodblocks created by a family for education preserved till today in Viá»t Nam.
Literature of the Huáº¿ Royal Architecture was also recognised as a world heritage. The literary heritage scripted on the royal palaces and monuments, tombs and pavillions was carved, enameled or applied with other materials.
4. UNESCO recognises Worship of Mother Goddesses
The ancient Vietnamese tradition of Worshipping Mother Goddesses was recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in November. The Three Realms in this tradition are heaven, water, and mountains and forests.
5. Kong: Skull Island shot in Viá»t Nam
The epic action adventure is the largest Hollywood motion picture ever filmed in Viá»t Nam. Shot in Quáº£ng Ninh, Quáº£ng BÃ¬nh and Ninh BÃ¬nh provinces over a five-week period, Kong will hit cinema screens worldwide in 2017.
6. 99-year-old pianist performs in HÃ Ná»i
ThÃ¡i Thá» LiÃªn, 99, one of the seven founders of the National Academy of Music, became the oldest Vietnamese pianists to perform on stage when she played at a November 26 concert marking the 60th anniversary of the academy. The audience gave her a prolonged standing ovation after she played two classical pieces by 19th-century Polish composer FrÃ©dÃ©ric Chopin with grace and passion.
7. HÃ Ná»i Opera House hosts top-notch theatre shows
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism decided to hold regular drama, chamber music and traditional opera shows at the HÃ Ná»i Opera House. Built in 1911, the HÃ Ná»i Opera is the most opulent building in the capital to host theatrical performances.
8. HÃ Ná»i International Film Festival
Vietnamese and foreign filmmakers, actors and actresses gathered on the red carpet at the forth HÃ Ná»i International Film Festival (HANIFF) to greet French actress Catherine Deneuve, who came back to Viá»t Nam on the Indochine’s 20th anniversary. 146 films from 46 countries and territories participated in the film festival. More than 500 screenings were organised to fete cinema lovers.
9. ÄÃ Náºµng voted Viá»t Nam’s most liveable city
The Asia Institute of City Management (AiCM), which had commissioned a yearlong study on ÄÃ Náºµng, announced that the budding coastal city is the most liveable place in Viá»t Nam. The institute had commissioned the study to understand the development and challenges this city faces.
With beautiful beaches and mountains, islands and fishing villages, ÄÃ Náºµng, is nestled between the two World Heritage centres of Há»i An and the ancient cultural capital of Huáº¿.
10. Vietnamese brothers break Guinness record with balancing act
Brothers Giang Quá»c CÆ¡ and Giang Quá»c Nghiá»p smashed a Guinness World Record on December 22 by climbing stairs with one sibling balanced atop the other using only head-to-head contact. The record-smashing feat took place on the picturesque steps of the Cathedral of Girona in Spain, which is well-known from the popular TV series Game of Thrones. The Vietnamese brothers broke the record by scaling 90 stairs in 52 seconds. – VNS