Vietnam Plans Formula One Race in Hanoi to Rev Up Tourism - EcoFinBiz Blog

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Vietnam Plans Formula One Race in Hanoi to Rev Up Tourism

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(Bloomberg) -- Vietnam plans to host a Formula One race in 2020 in Hanoi as the government steps up efforts to boost tourism to be a major economic driver.

The People’s Committee of Hanoi will hold a briefing on the plan on Wednesday. The city plans the race for April 2020 near its convention center, Thanh Nien newspaper reported. The government expects funding for the event, estimated to cost as much as $200 million, to come from private companies.

Vietnamese officials want to lure more overseas visitors to reduce the nation’s reliance on exports to power growth. Tourists are forecast to increase 30 percent to as many as 16 million in 2018, and the industry is expected to account for 8 percent of gross domestic product this year and 10 percent by 2020.

Vietnam allows for online visa applications and waives visas entirely for some countries. The government created a tourism development fund to assist travel companies with marketing and staff training while investing in roads, bridges and airport expansions.

Singapore, which draws millions of television viewers around the world for the F1 Grand Prix, extended its contract for the event to 2021 last year. Malaysia, though, decided to stop hosting the race because attendance has dropped and it wasn’t recouping costs.

Hanoi plans to upgrade roads for 5.2 kilometers of racetrack and construct seating areas and pit-stops, according to Thanh Nien.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen in Hanoi at uyen1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Boudreau at jboudreau3@bloomberg.net, Karl Lester M. Yap

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