VietNamNet Bridge – Possessing a dense river and canal network and modern wharf system, but HCM City still cannot develop its waterway tourism.
The Committee for Researching and Developing Tourism Products under the HCM City Tourism Association has said the city must not waste the big advantages and that it is discussing the measures to develop waterway tourism in the city.
Nguyen Thi Khanh, Deputy Chair of the association, said that there are a lot of gardens growing flowers, ornamental trees and traditional craft villages along the Saigon River and other rivers of the same system, which could be used as tourism destinations. However, Khanh said, in order to turn the potentials into reality, the city needs to make heavy investment in services, waterway tourism infrastructure, vehicles and labor force.
She has stressed that, if the problems can be settled, the successful cooperation between the gardens’ owners and travel firms to develop waterway tourism in HCM City is absolutely within reach
In fact, according to the HCM City Department for Culture, Sports and Tourism, the city’s authorities have been paying the special attention to develop waterway tourism since 2008 in order to create new products to attract travelers. However, the development plan has been stuck due to the barriers in the stations, fleets, and sight-seeing points.
At present, HCM City is developing the waterway tourism route which departs at the Bach Dang station in district 1, while the Ham Long Craftsmen Village in district 2 is the final destination. However, the route still cannot attract many travelers.
The city is considering opening a new route to Can Gio district, the destination which is believed to bring great potentials to the city’s tourism with the perfect ecosystem in the mangrove areas (currently the biosphere reserves of the world).
The ideas of providing the services of kayaking or traveling with express cruise have been put forward and applauded by experts, who believe that the services would help attract a lot of travelers.
The HCM City People’s Committee has decided to set up three stops for tourists in Tam Thon Hiep Commune, the subdivision No 2 and the small section No 19 in Can Gio district.
Khanh said that travel firms have joined forces with the HCM City Department for Agriculture and Rural Development to survey the gardens and the craft villages along the rivers.
“The gardens and craft villages can serve travelers very well. The only thing that needs to be done now is to build roads to the gardens and design more services,” Khanh said.
As planned, after the latest survey conducted by the tourism association, the list of the gardens capable to develop into the destinations for waterway tourism would be submitted to the city’s authorities for approval.
Not only trying to develop waterway tourism in the city, HCM City is also considering joining forces with Binh Duong province to set up the routes from Bach Dang station to Cu Chi tunnel and Thu Dau Mot district in Binh Duong.
HCM City’s authorities have been making hectic preparations for the plan to develop water way tourism. The HCM City Tourism Association has established the yacht club which has gathered 20 members, who are the owners of yachts and the enterprises who provide yacht services.
Nguyen Thi Hong, Deputy Chair of the HCM City People’s Committee, has emphasized that tourism is one of the nine service sectors that HCM City focuses to develop in order to create an added value growth rate of 12 percent per annum and more. The city is striving to obtain 60 trillion dong in revenue from tourism, and receive four million foreign tourists.