HCMC pins high hopes on river tourism

Travel Guide

HCMC’s Visionary Voyage into River Tourism

HCMC’s Dive into River Tourism

Flowing through the heart of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) are its rivers, potentially holding the key to unlocking the city’s next tourism boom. After its inaugural river festival, the city’s aspirations for waterway tourism are crystal clear.

Inaugural River Festival

Cultural Extravaganza on the Waters

HCMC unveiled its river festival on August 4, a three-day affair bursting with cultural and entertainment activities tailored for both locals and tourists. The festival is here to stay, with Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, director of the municipal tourism department, revealing plans to make it an annual event of increasing scale.

Expanding Waterway Tourism

Diversity in River Tours

Already boasting 20 river tours, including trips to districts Cu Chi and Can Gio and more extended voyages to Mekong Delta and Cambodia’s Phnom Penh, the city eyes a surge. By 2025, 10 more river tours will diversify HCMC’s waterway experiences, claims Hoa.

Envisioning Saigon River’s Future

A Symbol of Culture and Economy

The Saigon River, more than just a waterway, is set to undergo transformation. Hoa envisions an improved riverscape, coupled with revamped tourism services, that turns the river into HCMC’s cultural and economic emblem.

Current Reception and Potential

Demand and Expansion

Riding on the Saigon River is all the rage! One travel firm reveals a rising demand for river cruises, especially among foreign tourists. Similarly, Huynh Phan Phuong Hoang, a high-ranking official at Vietravel, recognizes the untapped potential of river tourism in the city, advocating for routes that unravel HCMC’s rich culture and history.

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Overcoming Challenges

Infrastructure and Pollution Concerns

It’s not smooth sailing just yet. River tours confront administrative bottlenecks, limited docking spaces, and subpar infrastructure. The unsightly litter and pollution along the Saigon River’s banks, stemming partly from upstream factories, taint the experience for tourists.

The Significance of the Saigon River

From Pollution Risks to Tourism Potential

The 256 km long Saigon River, flowing through multiple provinces before reaching HCMC, is both an asset and a challenge. With almost 50 industrial entities along its path, the river grapples with pollution threats.

Tourist Trends in HCMC

Leading Visitor Nations

From January to July, over 2.3 million international tourists soaked in HCMC’s wonders. Predominantly from South Korea, China, and the U.S., these visitors highlight the city’s global appeal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. When did HCMC host its first river festival?
    • The festival took place starting August 4.
  2. How many river tours does HCMC currently offer?
    • The city offers 20 river tours.
  3. By when does HCMC plan to introduce more river tours?
    • By 2025, 10 more river tours are planned.
  4. What challenges does river tourism face in HCMC?
    • Issues range from administrative hurdles and limited docking spaces to pollution concerns.
  5. Which countries majorly contribute to HCMC’s international tourist count?
    • South Korea, China, and the U.S. lead the pack.