Saturday, 13/04/2024 07:20

HCM City eyes new river tourism products

Visitors explore places along the Sài Gòn River from a double-decker water bus. VNS Photo Thu Hằng

HCM CITY  The HCM City tourism industry has set itself a target of launching five to 10 new products this year to tap its river tourism potential.

The city outlines river tourism as its distinctive product, and will invest in infrastructure and new waterway routes connecting the city with the provinces of Bình Dương, Tây Ninh, Đồng Nai, Long An, Bến Tre, Tiền Giang, Vĩnh Long, Đồng Tháp, and An Giang, and Côn Đảo Island.

Waterway travellers are expected to increase by 10-12 per cent this year to more than 500,000.

The city has the potential to create captivating and sustainable river tourism experiences, according to experts.

"This rich tapestry of experiences offers visitors a unique prism, allowing them a fleeting escape from the urban clamour and a glimpse into the tranquil facet of the city's character that often remains concealed," Jackie Ong, senior programme manager for the tourism and hospitality management programme at RMIT university, said.

"It encapsulates the essence of contemporary travel desires, where voyagers yearn for authentic connections and immersive encounters.

“Seamlessly embracing this evolving trend, river tourism beckons adventurers to plunge into the city’s historical layers, cultural intricacies, architectural splendours, and everyday life.”

Daisy Kanagasapapathy, a lecturer in tourism and hospitality management at the university, said strengthening infrastructure, amplifying promotional initiatives and diversifying river experiences could significantly support the sector’s expansion.

"The city’s iconic historical landmarks are often in the spotlight, putting its intricate waterways in the background," he said.

"Concerns about water quality and sanitation, and the safety of river activities ripple through the minds of potential tourists. Meanwhile, the narrow thoroughfares hinder access to riverside attractions."

She presented various strategies for HCM City to fulfil its potential in river tourism.

"Weaving history, culture, and nature into the fabric of river tourism encounters crafts a tapestry of profound enrichment," she said.

"Ensuring modern and accessible infrastructure provides seamless interactions with the city’s waterways while involving local communities nurtures authenticity and sustains a growth trajectory."

"A comprehensive global marketing strategy becomes a dynamic catalyst, heightening the allure of river tourism for domestic explorers and international adventurers alike," she added.  VNS

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