River tours starting from Ho Chi Minh City's center to adjacent areas have been launched, as part of city authorities' efforts to make river tourism one of its major attractions.
Saigontourist, one of Vietnam's major travel companies, introduced the tours on June 1 following surveys undertaken in cooperation with related agencies under HCMC authorities' order.
Tran Hung Viet, director general of Saigontourist, said the company's members will also join it in operating the tours, namely Binh Quoi Tourist Village, Can Gio Eco-tourism Company, Fiditour, Phu Tho Tourist Co., Ltd., and Saigon South Marina Corporation.
The tours go to destinations like the Cu Chi Tunnels in Cu Chi District, the Can Gio Biosphere Reserve in Can Gio District, Long Phuoc eco-resort in District 9, and Mekong Delta provinces.
Speaking of the new tours, Nguyen Thi Hong, vice chairwoman of the HCMC People's Committee said they will play an important role in creating interest in the city's tourism destinations and offer more options to tourists.
The city's river tourism's infrastructure will be also developed accordingly to meet tourists' demands, she said.
Last month HCMC announced a plan to spend VND11 trillion (US$522.96 million) on developing river tourism by 2020.
Under the plan, 50 wharfs that connect 65 destinations will be rebuilt and/or renovated.
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.
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