Waterway tours in HCMC have struggled to find customers, with some inner-city tours suspended due to many canals being polluted.
|Tourists join a waterway tour in HCMC. Pollution was blamed for the sluggish growth of the city’s waterway tourism|
The municipal Department of Tourism year-to-date has launched multiple activities to develop tourism infrastructure facilities and services and to promote waterway tours.
It has surveyed potential waterway routes to design tours and teamed up with the HCMC Department of Transport to address issues related to wharves and boat stations. The tourism department has collaborated with the relevant parties to seek investment for rest stops in the outlying district of Cu Chi and to launch tour promotion programs.
However, many issues have yet to be handled and currently serve as major hindrances to the city’s waterway tourism. The shortage of boat stations and wharves in downtown HCMC, coupled with multiple polluted canals, have affected the operations of inner-city tours.
Earlier, nearly two years ago, some tour operators had mentioned these issues at a meeting with the city’s authorities.
According to them, the city is home to multiple rivers and canals that are thousands of kilometers long, but waterway tourism has failed to attract tourists due to the pollution. Accordingly, they proposed the city work out solutions to tackle the pollution in inner-city canals.
In particular, Tau Hu-Binh Dong Canal in District 8 and the Saigon River section running from the city center to Cu Chi were among the most polluted waterway routes at the time. Tau Hu Canal remains polluted to this day.
In related news, the city’s government has approved a plan by Saigontourist Holding Company to offer waterway tours along with culinary services at night at Bach Dang Park in District 1.
Meanwhile, the number of international tourists in HCMC is projected to reach over 690,000 arrivals this month, up 35% year-on-year, raising the total number of foreign tourists year-to-date to a total of over six million arrivals, up 14% against the year-ago period.
The city’s tourism sector will earn an estimated VND12 trillion in revenue this month, rising 0.4% versus the figure seen in 2018, while revenue earned over the first nine months of this year is expected to exceed VND100 trillion, up 7.4% compared with last year. SGT
Though the Mekong Delta region typically sees a large influx of tourists at this time every year, tourist numbers this year remain modest due to flooding occurring later in the season.
Solo tourism allows travelers to choose itineraries and destinations without being bound by extended schedules or escorts.