Nguyen Viet Anh, Director of the Travel Division of the city’s Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism said the city’s vice chairwoman, Nguyen Thi Hong, had allowed the department to undertake the survey following a meeting on Monday about a plan to develop some new Vietnam tours for the city.
Officials at the meeting on October 18 also discussed the possibility of opening another river tour linking the city’s center, neighboring Binh Duong Province, and Cu Chi District in the city’s outskirts.
A report prepared by the tourism department after a survey in July shows that this medium-length river tour is of high potential owing to the beautiful scenery and attractions along the route.
The route should start from Bach Dang Wharf, take in Thanh Da-Binh Quoi and then Binh Duong Province’s craft villages before ending in the historical Cu Chi Tunnels.
But at the meeting on October 18, some expressed concern that this tourist route could hardly be launched later this year as had been expected due to the lack of required infrastructure facilities.
La Quoc Khanh, Deputy Director of the Tourism Department, told the meeting that there were not enough berths along the route for boats to anchor, let alone the mobilization of other transport means along the route to cater to tourists.
Khanh also complained that several bridges along the route had a low vertical clearance, preventing bigger boats from navigating underneath.
So far, the tourism department and some Vietnam tour operators have surveyed a short route from Bach Dang Wharf in District 1 to District 7. “We will launch this tourism product by the year-end or early in 2011,” Anh of the city’s tourism department said.
The city is pining high hopes on river tourism as strong potential of the industry, which once brought into play will also help linking attractions in the city with those in other provinces.
The city government has asked the tourism authority to draft an action plan this year to develop a river tour taking tourists from HCMC to attractions in the city and to other places such as the Mekong Delta province of An Giang and Cambodia.
At the meeting on October 18, vice chairwoman Hong also agreed in principle to assign Saigontourist Holding Company to build a tourist wharf in District 1. Earlier, Hong also gave the company the go-ahead to build a tourism wharf in Nha Be District.