How can Vietnam seize the opportunity to develop music tourism in light of the upcoming performances of the K-pop sensation BlackPink in Hanoi? Dr Daisy Kanagasapapathy, RMIT Lecturer in Tourism and Hospitality Management, shared several insightful suggestions.
Research conducted by the UNWTO in 2018 revealed that music, particularly from our youth, leave a profound and lasting impact on individuals. Acknowledged by the health sector, music’s neurological and physiological effects can be harnessed to engage people and deliver successful well-being interventions. Singing, dancing, creating, performing, and listening to music have delivered exceptional health and well-being results.
As BlackPink’s performances captivate audiences, the power of music to create joy, emotional connection, and transformative experiences becomes evident, laying the foundation for the burgeoning field of music tourism.
The harmonious convergence of BlackPink’s captivating performances and the strategic choice of show venues, exemplified by the prestigious My Dinh National Stadium, sets the stage for a vibrant fusion of musical euphoria and tourism prosperity in Vietnam. The choice of show venues brings numerous benefits to tourism in Vietnam. Hosting large-scale concerts attracts a diverse audience from both markets, domestic and international and, at the same time, boosts tourism revenue across sectors.
Economic stimulation from increased accommodation bookings, transportation usage, dining expenditures, and retail sales creates employment opportunities and strengthens the local economy. Successful concerts at notable venues project a positive image of cultural vibrancy, positioning Hanoi as an attractive destination for music-related tourism. This increased visibility and positive association contribute to the industry’s long-term development, encouraging further investment and growth.
Since music is one of our universal languages and people travel for entertainment, music tourism is, thus, increasingly a tool for tourism development worldwide, including in Asia, to diversify the destination’s tourism product to attract more tourists. Focusing on music tourism could further enable Vietnam to draw more tourists to the country like the other Asian countries, such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand; these destinations in Asia are already reaping the rewards of music tourism.
For instance, for the first time ever in Asia, Thailand brought in the world’s largest hip-hop festival in April 2023 to boost its destination attractiveness with tickets as high as 328 USD. In Singapore, Coldplay and Taylor Swift are just some of the international music acts that will be drawing regional audiences to Singapore in the coming months in a big way. Tickets for these concerts are highly sought after, and tens of thousands of visitors are expected to draw to Singapore and inject millions of dollars into the country’s economy.
Vietnam, with its rich cultural heritage and rapidly growing tourism industry, holds immense potential for the development of music tourism. The country’s distinct blend of traditional and contemporary music genres presents a unique tapestry for enthusiasts to explore. Furthermore, Vietnam’s breathtaking natural landscapes, bustling cities, and warm hospitality offer a complementary backdrop for music tourism activities. By strategically promoting its musical heritage and vibrant music scene, Vietnam can attract a new wave of tourists seeking cultural immersion and entertainment. Collaborating with local musicians, fostering talent development, and showcasing diverse music genres can position Vietnam as a must-visit destination for music lovers.
To fully seize the opportunity presented by these concerts and drive music tourism in Vietnam, the tourism industry should implement several strategies.
Collaboration between tourism authorities, event organisers, and local businesses is crucial. Creating comprehensive packages that combine concert tickets with tailored travel itineraries will entice music tourists to explore the country beyond the show venue. Promoting local attractions, such as cultural landmarks, culinary experiences, and natural wonders, alongside the concerts will provide a holistic tourism experience and prolong visitor stays.
Enhancing transportation infrastructure and connectivity is also vital. Ensuring convenient and reliable travel options to and within Vietnam, including international flight routes and efficient local transport systems, will facilitate seamless travel arrangements for music tourists. Additionally, providing adequate accommodation options near the concert venue and other tourist hotspots will enhance the overall visitor experience and encourage extended stays.
Furthermore, nurturing collaboration between the tourism industry and local artists and music industry stakeholders is essential. Supporting the development of Vietnamese talent, organising music festivals and events throughout the year, and fostering partnerships between local and international artists will create a thriving ecosystem for music tourism. This synergy will attract a diverse range of music enthusiasts and entice show organisers to choose Vietnam as a preferred destination for hosting international concerts.
BlackPink’s upcoming concerts in Hanoi signify a significant milestone for both the K-pop industry and the music tourism sector in Vietnam. By capitalising on this moment and implementing comprehensive strategies, Vietnam’s tourism industry can cultivate long-lasting benefits for the country’s economy and cultural development.
The excitement surrounding BlackPink’s concerts serves as a catalyst for the growth of music tourism, and by nurturing local talent, investing in infrastructure, and effectively marketing Vietnam’s unique offerings, the country can position itself as a sought-after destination for music enthusiasts, further diversifying its tourism offerings and contributing to its economic growth and cultural vitality.
Story by: Dr Daisy Kanagasapapathy, RMIT Lecturer in Tourism and Hospitality Management