HCMC plans $523 mln outlay for river tourism development

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Ho Chi Minh City authorities plan to spend VND11 trillion (US$522.96 million) by 2020 on developing river tourism into one of its major attractions, a VnExpress report said Wednesday.

Under the recently announced draft plan, the city will build and/or renovate 50 wharfs connecting 65 destinations, the online newspaper said.

The city plans to introduce this month seven river tours from Bach Dang Wharf in the city center to destinations like Cu Chi District, Binh Quoi Resort in Binh Thanh District, and Long Phuoc eco-resort in District 9, it reported.

Annual events related to river culture, sports and tourism are being planned as well, it said.

The Saigontourist company has been asked to study the feasibility of opening river tours from the city center to ancient pagodas in districts 5 and 6, as well as to Mekong Delta provinces.

City authorities hope that the plan will help boost the number of river tourists by some 20 percent every year.

Home to canals and rivers that cover a total length of some 1,000 kilometers, HCMC has seen a steady increase in the number of visitors enjoying river tours over the past few years, according to the municipal Department of Transport.

However, the industry is still underdeveloped with poor infrastructure, it said.

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