Ho Chi Minh City plans floating market to boost tourism

By VnExpress   November 23, 2016 | 11:00 am PT
Ho Chi Minh City plans floating market to boost tourism
Travelers could soon find Saigon more captivating with a boom of waterway tourism services. Photo by VGP
With its network of canals and rivers, the city is betting on waterway transport as a new driver for tourism growth.

Ho Chi Minh City is asking private investors for their help to develop a floating market which officials hope will become a new tourist attraction.

Bui Ta Hoang Vu, head of the city's tourism department, said at a workshop on Tuesday that the new market on the Saigon River will bring together many vendors on boats selling a wide variety of products to visitors.

No specific plans have been announced, but it is likely that such a market could replicate the already famous ones in the Mekong Delta.

Apart from the market, the city also wants to make the most out of its waterways, which range from narrow channels and canals to rivers and run through most of the districts.

Bui Xuan Cuong, head of the transport department, emphasized the need of developing waterway transport for both passengers and goods, which in turn will pave the way for a boom of new tourism services.

The Saigon Port will soon be relocated for new residential areas along the river, but some facilities will be retained for tourism services, Cuong said.

Private transport companies at the workshop suggested the city consider a network of public water taxis as a solution to road traffic congestion. Water transport can also make it easier to move around the city's suburban areas or travel to other provinces.

Official statistics show that the number of waterway tourism companies in the city has shrunk by half to 19, signaling that waterway tourism has yet to catch on despite the potential.

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