The number of visitors to the popular floating Cai Rang Market in Can Tho City has increased 15 percent on a yearly basis, heard a conference organized to discuss the preservation and development of this special market in the Mekong Delta city on Thursday.
Cai Rang Floating Market is located on the Cai Rang River in Cai Rang District, about five kilometers away from the center of Can Tho City.
It is famous for its unique and bustling daily activities on the water.
Its culture was recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism in 2016.
About 250 to 300 boats are currently trading at Cai Rang Floating Market, along with eight farm produce trading points on the banks, Le Van Hoang, Cai Rang District’s head of culture and information, told the event.
During high seasons, the volume of agricultural products exchanged at the market reaches up to 2,000 metric tons a month, Hoang said.
“The number of boats carrying tourists to the market has constantly increased, at 15 percent a year,” he said, without specifying this year’s number.
“Tourism products and services at the floating market have been strongly developed and become diverse and plentiful, meeting the needs of visitors."
Hoang’s department has implemented a project with 13 items to preserve and better develop Cai Rang.
Accordingly, 498 local houseboats have been provided with preferential loans totaling nearly VND26 billion (US$11.2 million).
Now on the market, trash has been collected by specialized boats.
Authorities have placed public restrooms, wharves, and floating stalls selling souvenirs and local specialties to visitors.
In the future, Hoang suggested promoting a nighttime economy linked with Can Tho’s river tourism at the market.
In addition, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Luu Thanh Duc Hai, deputy dean of the economics department of Can Tho University, said that it is necessary to connect the market with enterprises’ supply chain of river services.
There should also be performance and entertainment activities on the floating market, such as the pineapple cutting art, as a signature to lure visitors, Hai added.