Every weekend, Nguyen Hoang Duong takes his family to Soc Son District, a suburb of Hanoi. There, his children can ride bicycles on the winding forest roads and admire the mountain scenery while he plays his favorite sport, golf.

Duong believes that Hanoi has a lot of potential to develop sports tourism, with mountainous terrain, large rivers and lakes, and beautiful streets with unique heritage in the city center. However, this potential has not yet been tapped.

Great potential for sports tourism

Soc Son is a district in the outskirts of Hanoi with diverse terrain and beautiful scenery suitable for cycling, jogging and climbing activities.

Recently, a number of beautiful roads have been built for mountain biking, jogging and racing, such as Dong Quan Lake-Keo Ca Lake-Thanh Giong Monument (11 km long), Soc Temple-Saint Giong Monument (5 km long), Dong Quan Lake-Soc Temple (8 km long), among others.

 West Lake in Hanoi is an ideal place for outdoor sports. Photo: Pham Hung/The Hanoi Times

The district has successfully organized a number of jogging and off-road racing tournaments that attract a large number of people and tourists.

In addition, there are two international standard golf courses in Soc Son area: Minh Tri Golf Course and BRG Legendhill Soc Son Golf Course.

The Soc Son Racecourse Entertainment Complex is soon to be built. When it opens, it will be a world-class fitness and sports center in the north of the capital.

Soc Son has a lot of potential and advantages to develop sports tourism, said Do Minh Tuan, Deputy Chairman of Soc Son District People's Committee. The local authorities are focusing on developing sports tourism in the region.

In addition to Soc Son, Hanoi's Ba Vi, Chuong My, Son Tay districts and metropolitan areas also have great potential for sports tourism development.

Ba Vi District has a semi-mountainous terrain and Ba Vi National Park, which is ideal for mountain climbing and running. 

While the city of Son Tay is home to the Dong Mo Golf Course, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful golf courses in Southeast Asia with a harmonious natural landscape.

 Dong Mo Lake in Son Tay Town on the outskirts of Hanoi is a tourist draw. Photo: VNA

Especially in downtown Hanoi, which has an infrastructure system for various sports activities that meets international standards, major tournaments are regularly organized.

In addition, the city center also has many beautiful streets and a rich heritage system, so running races are often held to explore the beauty of the capital. Among these routes, the large area of West Lake is suitable for dragon boat racing tournaments.

According to golfer Nguyen Hoang Duong, sports tourism has a special appeal because it helps travelers not only get physical exercise, but also interact with communities with similar interests, and experience and explore tourism at the site.

Major tournaments attract not only participants but also their family members and friends.

Many tourism experts also believe that in the future, localities will need to relax the licensing of sports tournaments to better promote destinations.

At the same time, travel companies can form alliances with sports event organizers for sports tourism merchandising.

Dang Huong Giang, Director of the Hanoi Tourism Department, assured that the department will create maximum conditions and open many opportunities for tourism businesses and sports event organizers to discuss and agree on how to use them.