HCM City in­vests in wa­ter tours

Viet Nam News - - National -

H M ITY — HCM City au­thor­i­ties plan to de­velop river tourism and make it the city’s main tourism prod­uct by 2020.

The draft “ Wa­ter­way tourism de­vel­op­ment strat­egy of HCM City in the 2013-15 pe­riod with a vi­sion to 2020” en­vis­ages build­ing and ren­o­vat­ing many piers and or­gan­is­ing many sport and cul­tural events an­nu­ally.

By 2015 the city will ren­o­vate and build 50 wharves to op­er­ate boats to tourist des­ti­na­tions.

It will de­velop 65 tourist at­trac­tions that can be ac­cessed by wa­ter and build three com­mu­nity-tourism at­trac­tions in Dis­tricts 9, Cu Chi and Caàn Giôø.

This month seven river tours will be started from Baïch Ñang Wharf in Dis­trict 1 to sites in B nh Quô i, Cu Chi and Dis­trict 9.

The wa­ter­way tourism pro­ject has a bud­get of VNÑ11 tril­lion (US$526 mil­lion), of which VNÑ1 tril­lion ($47.8 mil­lion) will come from tax­pay­ers’ money and the rest from other sources.

Au­thor­i­ties hope to re­spec­tively in­crease the num­ber of wa­ter­way tourists and rev­enues by 20 per cent and 30 per cent an­nu­ally.

They will or­gan­ise cul­tural, sports, and other events as­so­ci­ated with wa­ter­way tourism ev­ery year at Baïch Ña ng Wharf, Nhaø Roàng Wharf, and Moáng Bridge and de­velop wa­ter sports, re­sorts, and well­ness cen­tres in Caàn Giôø, Cu Chi and Dis­trict 9.

The city ad­min­is­tra­tion has in­structed Saigon­tourist, a travel firm, to be­gin op­er­at­ing river tours from the down­town area to an­cient tem­ples and pago­das in Dis­tricts 5 and 6, and through the Beán Nghe and Taøu Hu canals to the C u Long (Mekong) Delta.

With about 1,000km of rivers and canals func­tion­ing, HCM City has enor­mous po­ten­tial in wa­ter­way tourism.

From the city cen­tre, there are nav­i­ga­ble rivers and canals in all four di­rec­tions and to key eco­nomic zones in neigh­bour­ing ar­eas.

In the last few years wa­ter­way tourism has been ex­pand­ing, es­pe­cially the route from Baïch Ñang Wharf to Cu Chi.

But its de­vel­op­ment has fallen short of the po­ten­tial due to a lack of mod­ern fa­cil­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of Trans­port.

Un­der an­other mas­ter plan, down­town HCM City will be trans­formed into a mod­ern city cen­tre with more green space, pedes­trian-only streets, and ef­fi­cient pub­lic trans­port in­clud­ing tram and rapid bus tran­sit sys­tems and fer­ries. —

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