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23/03/2021 - 16:46

Sports - tourism: One arrow hitting two targets

Not restricted by the factors of culture, gender, social status ..., aside from bringing new experiences to visitors, the form of sports combined with tourism also helps the host to stimulate economic demand, increase brand recognition and many other benefits...

Joining in VnExpress Hue Marathon 2020 is also an opening for the athletes to experience and visit the Ancient Capital’s scenic spots.

"Knowing oneself, knowing others”

Summarizing the annual performances, in view of the total number of medals won, Hue sports seemed to be fairly spectacular with hundreds of medals of all types in many domestic, regional, continental and world arenas. But from a professional perspective, many of the gold medals won in these prizes mostly fell into the youth or local tournaments.

To achieve good performances in the national championships, at high-class playgrounds, athletes have to advance bit by bit. And, the youth and local tournaments are the first steps. However, there remain many cases where the athletes achieved good performances at youth playgrounds, but after a long time, they did not rise to prominence in the higher-level tournaments.

In a bid to solve this problem, through the High Performance Sports Development Project (HPSDP) of Thua Thien Hue Province in the 2020 – 2025 period, with the roadmap to 2030, the provincial sports workers made the close plans approved by the Provincial People's Council upon grouping the key events for formulating a more proper and effective investment direction and investing, upgrading the facilities in order to host the international tournaments.

According to the plan, the key events are divided into 2 groups.  Group 1 includes wrestling, swimming - diving, chess, athletics, Karatedo and Taekwondo. Group 2 includes shuttle-cock, badminton, judo, archery, youth football, chess, and Vovinam development investment

This grouping will help to identify a number of events that athletes can compete for medals in the national, regional, continental or world championships in a more separate and specific way whereby the appropriate investment plan is proposed such as increasing the staffing for athletes; prioritizing the sending of athletes who participated in the international tournaments abroad for training; inviting foreign experts, good coaches for training...

And, it can be seen that this is the move of "knowing oneself, knowing others" together with the sports workers’ desire for progress and knowledge in the roadmap of enabling the Ancient Capital sports in general and HPSDP in particular to fly higher and farther.

On top of grouping the key events, based on the available facilities, Hue sports will invest in repairing and upgrading facilities ... towards hosting the international sports tournaments. At the same time, a separate gym and athlete rehabilitation center will be built to support athletes in the recovery process, helping athletes to fully promote their potential.

"It is also a place for athletes to "look at" and feel more secure upon their arrival in Hue to compete," said Mr. Phan Thanh Hai, Director of the Department of Culture and Sports.

 "1 contestant, 3 followers"

At first glance, the above plans are specifically for sports in training, competition to aim for higher performances in the regional, continental and international playgrounds. But in depth, this is also a long-term story, in which the target is to spread more strongly the image of Hue worth living to friends throughout the country and the world along with promoting the socio-economic development through tourism demand stimulus.

Currently, the trend of tourism in combination with sports is no longer unfamiliar. This model generates quite a large source of revenue for the tourism industry in many world countries and proves very effective in promoting the image of each country and locality.

In Hue, although not yet official, the similar models have come into view in the last 2-3 years such as 2018 Thua Thien Hue Open International Cycle Race Tournament, Coupe de Hue 2019, SUP race, Hue Half Marathon, Full Marathon ... The journeys were impressive when the athletes continuously passed the scenic spots, peaceful villages, majestic mountains, immense rivers ... peculiar to Hue.

And the experiences full of the emotional levels are the very attraction to remember Hue much more and more deeply, together with the desire to return to Hue not just once.

The existing background of culture, heritage, cuisine... combined with the upgraded system of facilities for sports training and competition will make it unnecessary for the organizers of sports tourism “tours” to invest too much. “Apart from the gymnasium, rehabilitation center, swimming pool ..., there are also the rivers and sea for athletes or tourists who desire to swim, take part in boat-race; the routes not inferior to Tour de France such as Bach Ma, A Luoi... for cycle races; the tarred and tree-lined roads for jogging,” said Mr. Phan Thanh Hai.

But are these things relevant to tourism demand stimulus and economic development?

If for the professional sports playgrounds, athletes often go in teams, in groups, then for the international sports "playgrounds", the professional, semi-professional and amateur athletes can join in the style of "1 contestant, 3 followers". Most recently, VnExpress Hue Marathon 2020 took place on December 26-27. Out of more than 5,000 "runners", most were the athletes from other provinces and the world. Their wives and children also followed to cheer and took advantage of the opportunity to visit the land famed for beauty and peace.

And that is the very convincing "reason" for the hotels, restaurants, spots of entertainment, shopping and cuisine ... in Hue to be constantly busy before, during and after the marathon days.  And when goodbye is said, the good things, the beauty of the land and people of Hue will be promoted and spread more strongly.

Story: Han Dang - Photo: VnExpress

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