In order to turn the Hanoi Opera House into an attractive tourist destination, the theatre’s management board has coordinated with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and the Department of Performing Arts under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to open the combination tour of Hanoi Opera House and traditional art shows.

The policy is expected to be enacted by the tourism industry, but it is necessary to adjust to the tour really become a product to attract visitors.


A performance of the art progamme 'Hon Viet' 

The 90-minute tour, themed ‘History, architecture and traditional arts’, offers tourists a chance to visit three floors of the theater, as well as the opportunity to learn about the history of the construction and architecture of the theater, including the main hall entrance, the staircase area and the auditorium of the theatre. 

Guests will be welcomed to the VIP room of the theatre, learning about the traces of bullet holes from December 1946, as well as important events that took place at the Cach Mang Thang Tam (August Revolution) Square from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present.

In addition, on the third floor, the travellers will also have a chance to learn more about the building materials and theater decorations from the early twentieth century, the restoration process of the theater in 1995 as well as documents and ancient photos on the theater and events which took place both inside and outside the theatre.

After experiencing the historical architectural value of the Hanoi Opera House, visitors will be able to enjoy an art performance, named “Hon Viet” (Vietnam’s Soul), including selected traditional art items, which performed by talented artists.

The Hanoi Opera House tour is open to visitors from 10.30am to 12 am every Monday and Friday.

With a history of more than 100 years along with being built in the French architecture style, Hanoi Opera House is considered an important cultural, historical and architectural work of the capital.

Therefore, the opening of the theater to visitors has received a lot of response from the tourism industry and the public, especially the travel agencies. 

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Dang Thi Bich Lien affirmed that the opening of the Hanoi Opera House combined with the traditional art performance not only created opportunities for people to visit and enjoy the historical and cultural values, but also contribute to the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage through the promotion of the values to the public and international friends, thereby creating more attractive tourism products for Hanoi.

However, according to tourism experts, in order for the Hanoi Opera House to become one of the destinations in the schedules of the travel companies, it is necessary to do research in order to change the tours. 

Considering also that the issue of ticket prices for visitors is not reasonable, especially for domestic guests. 

On the first day of opening, visitors complained about the ticket price at VND 400,000 per person. This is not a small amount of money compared to the other sites in the city.

A visitor said that if the opening of the Hanoi Opera House is to create conditions for all people to visit, I fear that the price is not suitable for people with low incomes, especially the elderly and the retirees in Vietnam, who will not have the opportunity to come and learn about historical monuments in their hometown and in their country.

According to Vu Van Tuyen, Director of Vietnam Travelogy Travel Company, the price is slightly higher than other destinations in Vietnam and other countries in the region. 

While guests are obliged to spend VND 400,000 for the two-hour tour in Hanoi Opera House, they only have to spend the about VND 300,000 for a half-day tour in the Royal Palace of Thailand.

In addition, the content of the art program “Hon Viet” in the tour also made many businesses disturbed. 

The art programme includes many traditional art items, such as singing, dancing, recital of traditional Vietnamese 'Dan Bau' (monochord), performing tuong (traditional opera) and performing chau van (spiritual singing), but according to Dang Bich Tho, Deputy General Director of Hanoi Redtour Company, the art program is not worthy to perform at the Hanoi Opera House , which is known as an "art sanctuary".

The programme combines many items, which are performed by many various units. For this reason, the programme gathers Vietnam's most prominent traditional arts, but lacks cohesiveness and character.

In order to attract tourists, especially foreigners, the main problem is not the price, but the price is commensurate with what visitors experience or do not experience. 

The art programme in the Hanoi Opera House’s tour should do careful research to invest and clearly build subjects that highlight the beauty of traditional Vietnamese art and theater performance space. 

For any historical sites, when opening the door for visitors, it is necessary to have regulations and measures to protect science in order to both preserve and promote the value of monuments.

The opening of the Hanoi Opera House twice a week is being experimented by the theatre’s management board from September to December this year. 

On the basis of evaluating results through the opinion of travel agencies and visitors, the tour is expected to perfect in 2018 that will turn Hanoi Opera House into an attractive destination.

Nhan Dan