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Focus shifts to Saigon River

posted Aug 15, 2011, 6:54 PM by Dong Travel   [ updated Aug 15, 2011, 6:56 PM by Mickey Dong Hoang Thinh ]
HO CHI MINH, 15 August 2011 – Ho Chi Minh City needs to spend heavily in waterway tourism along the Saigon River to boost international tourist arrivals, the Committee for Research and Developing Tourism Products under HCMC Tourism Association announced, last week.

Despite efforts over four years to create waterway tourism in HCMC, the city has established just a single route.

The route starts from Bach Dang station in district 1 and finishes at the Ham Long handicraft village in district 2, but it is still not popular with international travellers.

The association deputy, Nguyen Thi Khan, said HCMC has the potential to develop waterway tourism along the Saigon River banks where there are traditional handicraft villages.

It will require a heavy investment in infrastructure and services, as well making sure villages and attraction owner on the route can work with travel firms to sell trips.

The HCMC Department for Culture, Sports and Tourism has been working on waterway tourism development since 2008, but progress has been slow and there is a lack of serious investment in support facilities on the river.

Currently, the city is considering opening a new route to Can Gio district where there is a well preserved mangrove forest ecosystem. Can Gio is 41 km from the centre of HCMC. The route to Can Gio district would include three stops for tourists.

Also the association is thinking about adding kayaking on the river as a sporting activity and also for tourists to rent.

HCMC is striving to attract more international arrivals and hopes that this year it can reach a target of 4 million foreigners as well as generate VND60 trillion in tourism revenue.

Source: TTRW