More river tour routes are being explored, such as those between Bach Dang Wharf and Can Gio Biosphere Reserve, the city’s Cu Chi District that is home to the landmark Cu Chi tunnels, and neighboring Binh Duong Province.
The first Saigon River tour service which also begins at Bach Dang Wharf in District 1 takes in Ham Long Artisan Village in District 2.
Nguyen Thi Khanh, deputy chairwoman of the HCMC Tourism Association, said the Cu Chi tour would take in Ben Dinh, Ben Duoc and Mot Thoang Vietnam Tourist Park, and some pagodas and old houses in Binh Duong. However, it would be hard to develop this route if the city did not add more places of interest and invest in new wharf infrastructure.
The same problem is faced by the proposed Bach Dang-Can Gio route.
“Those river tour routes have potential for development but cash will be needed to develop them,” she said.
The director of a travel service center said chances for developing river tour services in the city were small due to the low vertical traffic clearance of some bridges. There are a number of bridges with a half-a-meter vertical clearance, preventing tourist boats from passing.
“The clearance of Binh Loi Bridge and some others is low. In the inner city, the Tau Hu Canal is not yet dredged, making it impossible for travel firms to arrange tours for visitors in the canal that meanders along the East-West Highway,” he said.
According to him, the Vietnam travel sector needs financial support and investment from the city government to develop river travel services and thus enrich the city’s tourism products.
“We need better products to sell to our customers. The city can launch new river routes but they will not be attractive unless services and transportation are improved,” he said.
Khanh of the tourism association said the product development department of the association was reviewing all the problems faced by the sector.
Some tour operators told the Daily that the newly opened river tour between Bach Dang Wharf and the tourist village in District 2 had not got a positive response.
Source: The Saigon Times