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HCM City invests in water tours VNTimes


HCM City authorities plan to develop river tourism and make it the city’s main tourism product by 2020.

Thedraft “Waterway, tourism development strategy of HCM City in the2013-15 period with a vision to 2020” envisages building and renovatingmany pier and organising many sport and cultural events annually.

By 2015 the city will renovate and build 50 wharves to operate boats to tourist destination.

Itwill develop 65 tourist attractions that can be accessed by water andbuild three community-tourism attractions in District 9, Cu Chi and CanGio.

This month seven river tours will be started from BachDang Wharf in District 1 to sites in Binh Quoi, Cu Chi and District9.

The waterway tourism project has a budget of 11 trillion VND(526 million USD), of which 1 trillion VND (47.8 million USD) will comefrom taxpayers’ money and the rest from other sources.

Authorities hope to respectively increase the number of waterway tourists and revenues by 20 percent and 30 percent annually.

Theywill organise cultural and sport activities, and other eventsassociated waterway tourism every year at Bach Dang Wharf , NhaRong Wharf and Mong Bridge and develop water sports, resorts,and wellness centres in Can Gio, Cu Chi and District 9.

The cityadministration has instructed Saigontourist, a travel firm, to beginoperating river tours from the downtown area to ancient temples andpagodas in Districts 5 and 6, and through the Ben Nghe and Tau Hu canalsto the Mekong Delta. With about 1,000 km of rivers and canalsfunctioning, HCM City has enormous potential in waterway tourism.

Fromthe city centre, there are navigable rivers and canals in all fourdirections and to key economic zones in neighbouring areas.

In the last few years waterway tourism has been expanding, especially the route form Bach Dang Wharf to Cu Chi.

Butits development has fallen short of the potential due to a lack ofmodern facilities, according to the Department of Transport.

Underanother master plan, downtown HCM City will be trasformed into a moderncity centre with more green space, pedestrian-only streets, andefficient public transport including tram and rapid bus transit systemsand ferries.-VNA

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