Ho Chi Minh City’s first-ever river festival, which took place between August 4 and 6, spurred the expectation of many officials and tourism insiders about river tourism that might make the city more unique and attractive.
The municipal Department of Tourism will continue launching various river-based tourism products and services to cement the city’s riverine urban brand.
The river fest will become an annual tourism event in Ho Chi Minh City, said Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, director of the department.
The festival was chosen as one of the city’s distinctive tourism products and will be scaled up for the next editions, she said.
It is necessary to promote more river tourism products, said Nguyen Nguyet Van Khanh, marketing director at Vietravel.
Over the past few years, domestic and international visitors have opted to tour the heart of the city and experience the Saigon River tour, she said.
Moreover, many families desiring to learn about where they live will pick river tours as these are appropriate to short inner-city trips.
Given rising demands for river tourism and the diversity of tourism products, the city should further popularize them among local and international travelers, she stressed.
Discussing the strength of rivers for tourism, Nguyen Minh Man, head of communications and marketing at TST Tourist Company, said that rivers and canals are ‘interesting materials’ for tourism products.
“Among our 10 tours in Ho Chi Minh City are a sunset-watching yacht tour on the Saigon River, and a one- or two-day Thu Duc City exploration tour in which visitors are briefed on the history of the Saigon River,” he said.
The organization of the Ho Chi Minh river fest is considered a way to tap the cultural and historical values of the river and canals to advance tourism.
Rivers and canals are 'materials' to build exciting and unique tourism products, he shared.
Many departments, agencies, and firms should join hands to upgrade wharves and marinas, and offer all-in-one services to build a Ho Chi Minh City – Saigon River tourism brand, according to Man.
|Tourists can experience a river tour in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
|Ho Chi Minh City’s first river festival took place between August 4 and 6, 2023. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre
The outdoor art show titled ‘Saigon – River Tells Stories’ wrapped up Ho Chi Minh City’s first-ever river festival on Sunday night.
The show was one of the highlights of the fest, featuring the participation of over 700 artists, artisans, directors, experts, consultants, and staff workers, as well as the 3D and mapping technologies.
The festival, which was organized at the Saigon Cruise Port, the Bach Dang Wharf Park, and the Binh Dong Wharf, along the banks of Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal, and in various tourist sites citywide, was aimed at popularizing the images of the city and people, cultural features, food, and tourism among local and international travelers.
Between January and July, Ho Chi Minh City welcomed more than 2.3 million international tourists, mainly from South Korea, China, and the United States.
The city holds 10 major tourism events annually to satisfy dwellers and visitors, said Hoa.
Among them are the International Travel Expo, Ao Dai (Vietnamese traditional costume) Fest, and Ho Chi Minh Tourism Fair. These events have been scaled up year over year.
|Artists perform at the ‘Saigon – River Tells Stories’ art show. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre
|The fest featured various art performances and interesting activities along the Saigon River. Photo: T.T.D. /Tuoi Tre