Vietnam's southern hub upgrading ports to promote river tourism

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Tourists board a ferry at Bach Dang Port, Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City will upgrade its river ports and build more in five districts as part of its plan to promote river tourism starting this year, Saigon Times reported.

Nguyen Viet Anh of the Culture, Sports, and Tourism Department said the city has prioritized upgrades on District 1's Bach Dang Port, since most river tours embark from there.

Two central districts 8, 9, and two rural districts Can Gio, and Cu Chi have also been instructed to upgrade existing ports and build new ones.

The HCMC People's Committee and the tourism department announced that research indicated that the five districts targeted for new and renovated ports suit the city's plan to develop river tourism.

It is expected that the districts will finish outlining construction plans and submit them to the government within this quarter.

Construction costs will be covered jointly with funds from the local budget and investors, Viet said.

Last year, HCMC was the first stop in Vietnam for 3.8 million international visitors 85 percent of foreign tourists to travel to Vietnam.

The city's tourism sector earned VND68 trillion in 2012, up 20 percent from the previous year.

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