According to Ho Chi Minh City vice chairman Nguyen Thi Hong, river tourism has been present in the city for decades but is nowhere near its full potential.
However, the city will now develop it as a major tourism product, and Saigontourist will play the leading role in developing this product.
With these seven tours, Saigontourist will be in charge of providing boats and the city will promote new tourism services to tourists, Hong told the Daily on Tuesday.
According to Hong, together with preparations for the launch of the seven new tours, the HCMC government is about to approve the planning of piers and wharves to facilitate the development of river tourism.
Under instructions of the HCMC government, the Department of Transport and relevant agencies have drafted the river tourism development strategy for the 2013-2015 period and a vision towards 2020.
According to the draft strategy, the city plans to increase the annual growth of tourists buying river tours by around 20% and river tourism revenue by 30%. Besides, river tourism will become a major product of HCMC in 2020.
From now until 2015, HCMC will upgrade and build 50 piers at tourist sites for boats to dock, develop 65 tourist sites in districts having river tours and build three community tourism sites in Cu Chi, Can Gio and District 9.
In related news, Saigontourist Holding Company on Tuesday held a ceremony to receive the title of Labor Hero which is granted by the State to recognize the firm’s outstanding achievements and contributions to the development of Vietnam’s tourism as well as other economic sectors in the past, especially in the 2002-2012 period.
Established in 1975, Saigontourist has become a leading travel company in Vietnam and now operates in five sectors, which are hotel-resort, restaurant, travel service, entertainment and education.
Saigontourist serves around two million tourists every year with total revenue of over VND13 trillion and over VND1.88 trillion paid to the budget. The firm currently has 87 member companies and over 16,000 employees.