Waterway tourism exploitation in HCMC incommensurate with potentiality

The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City yesterday held a conference on the development of passenger transport combined with waterway tourism under the chair of Deputy Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Bui Xuan Cuong. 
Tourists experience SUP rowing in Can Gio district, Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: Thi Hong)
With more than one month left until the Tet holiday, travel businesses have launched new tours to serve tourists during the Tet holiday. Sharing at the conference, Director of Saigontourist’s International Tourism Division Vo Viet Hoa emphasized that tourists are very excited about waterway tourism products in the city. For this reason, the travel company links with localities nearby Ho Chi Minh City and Cambodia to open the sightseeing tours on Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta route, departing from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh and vice versa.
Tourists visit Phu Dinh Wharf, District 8, Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: Hoang Hung)
At the conference, Head of the Tourism Product Development Division under the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism Nguyen Thi Thanh Thao said that travel firms put three groups with the distance below ten kilometers into exploitation comprising Bach Dang- Binh Quoi tourism site, the tourism route on Nhieu Loc- Thi Nghe canal, the tourism routes to visit Districts 5, 6 and 8 departing from Bach Dang wharf, Saigon river, Tau Hu and Ben Nghe canal to Lo Gom wharf. 

As for the 10-60-kilometer long routes, HCMC has launched Bach Dang- Cu Chi and Bach Dang- Can Gio. Especially, the routes from HCMC to Mekong Delta has the longest journey with a distance of over 60 kilometers. 

Although waterway tourism products are interesting to domestic and international tourists, many participants showed limitations and the development incommensurate with potentiality.

According to Vice Director of the municipal Transport Department Bui Hoa An, HCMC received more than 3.1 million international tourists and 27.9 million domestic tourists in the past 11 months. Of these, only 342,800 tourists experienced waterway products, accounting for more than 1 percent. 

One of the reasons for the low rate is due to limited land fund use for investment and the construction of ports, limitation in technical logistics services for passenger transport, no mechanisms of allocating, leasing land for investment and construction of inland wharfs to serve the development of passenger transport and tourism.

Currently, the city has a total of 411 inland wharf locations. The HCMC Department of Transport has requested to update the planning of each district, but after many years, the work has not been implemented yet. 

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