HCM City has been holding various activities this year to promote waterway tourism, aiming to better exploit its advantages with a dense river and canal network and rich riverside culture.
The municipal People’s Committee has issued a plan on developing waterway tourism products in the city in the 2023-2025 period.
Under the city’s Tourism Development Strategy until 2030, waterway tourism products are identified as tourism products that make a difference for the city, satisfying international and domestic tourists’ needs for exploring cultural values.
The city has opened many waterway routes in the inner city, facilitating both passenger transportation and river tourism.
Nguyễn Minh Mẫn, Director of Communications and Marketing of TSTtourist, said that in recent years, the company has developed tours to Thủ Đức City with the tourism product “City by the Green River”. With this tour, visitors can experience traveling on the Saigon River, discovering the beauty on both sides of the river.
“Domestic and foreign tourists love to explore new things of the city by waterway as well as by road. Therefore, this product is always chosen by tourists and we will continue to operate it during the upcoming Lunar New Year 2024,” Mẫn said.
Deputy Director of the Department of Tourism Bùi Thị Ngọc Hiếu said that by 2025, the city’s tourism industry aims to offer waterway tourism services on all Saigon River system (Nhà Bè, Soài Rạp, Lòng Tàu) with linkages to those in neighbouring localities of Đồng Nai, Bình Dương, Tiền Giang, Long An, and Bến Tre, and create more tours connecting seaports with river routes.
The city also aims to develop at least 10 waterway tours and waterway tour programmes linking seaports and river routes.
The city is striving to welcome about 500,000 visitors a year to waterway tourism programmes in the 2023-24 period. This number is expected to increase by 10 per cent in the following years.
|Saigon River has many advantages for waterway tourism development. Photo: tienphong.vn
According to preliminary statistics of the tourism department, 123 waterway vessels are operating including 43 restaurant boats, accommodation ships, yachts and 80 canoes and small wooden boats.
In 2018, the city served 845,400 waterway tourists, including 805,400 on river tours and 40,000 on sea tours. The figure in 2019 was 786,700, with 745,500 on river tours and 41,200 on sea tours.
To date, over 100 enterprises in the city are offering 150 waterway tours which are more diversified.
The city looks to turn waterway tourism into a distinctive tourism product by 2030.
Hiếu said that to achieve the goal, the city needs qualified wharves and ports to serve tourism. It also needs mechanisms and policies to attract businesses to invest in facilities like wharves, waiting areas, or public restrooms to serve tourists.
For cruise tourism, the city needs to have a policy on allowing large ships to dock in ports in the city centre to effectively exploit Saigon port, she said.
Moreover, the city calls on businesses to invest in developing passenger transport routes between the city and Côn Đảo (an island in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province) to promote the development of inland waterway transport and coastal transport.
Source: Vietnam News