Festival hoped to awaken river tourism potential in HCMC

By VNA   May 31, 2024 | 01:14 am PT
Festival hoped to awaken river tourism potential in HCMC
A musical performance on the Saigon River as part of HCMC River Festival's season 1 in August 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Tran Quynh
The second Ho Chi Minh City River Festival, scheduled to kick off on Friday evening, promises to leave lasting impression on local residents and visitors about the riverside metropolis.

Rivers, canals, and waterways imbued with unique cultural values of the riverine region have contributed to tourism development in HCMC.

The Nha Rong - Khanh Hoi Wharf and Saigon Cruise Port are bustling on these days with preparations for the opening ceremony and a series of festive activities.

Over 1,000 artists and actors/actresses have been practicing around the clock for an outdoor grand opera titled "The story of a river Season 2 - The legendary voyage."

Consisting of five chapters, the play combines history, cinematography, and entertainment characteristics to convey meaningful messages and stories about the development of Saigon - Gia Dinh - Ho Chi Minh City, a land of waterways.

The program will also use 3D mapping technology, water screens, water stage platforms, drone performances, and boat parades, among others, to create a colorful extravaganza party celebrating the river culture. Artistic fireworks displays will also be a highlight of the opening ceremony.

A fruit week themed "Tren Ben Duoi Thuyen" (On the Wharf - In the Boat) will be held from June 4-10, featuring the distinctive cultural space of the southwestern waterways region.

A wide range of other activities will also form part of the festival such as cultural and artistic spaces, a culinary competition, a river swimming tournament, a stand-up paddle-boarding race, and performances of water motorcycle, parasailing, and sailboats. Besides, discounts ranging from 10 to 60% will be offered for over 50 waterway tours.

Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, director of the municipal Department of Tourism, expressed her hope that the annual festival will help establish the city as a riverside metropolis with rich cultural identity.

With nearly 1,000 km of rivers and canals, HCMC holds the potential for developing attractive waterway tourism products connected with diverse historical and cultural relic sites in the city and other southern provinces.

Nguyen Van Dung, vice chairman of the municipal People's Committee, highlighted the significance of the event to the southern hub's socio-economic and tourism development, saying that the municipal authorities will continue investing in the River Festival so as to form a chain of unique cultural and tourism events, thus helping the city attract more domestic and international tourists.

Saigon River hosts first-ever outdoor art show as part of the first season of Ho Chi Minh City River Festival, Aug. 6, 2024. Video by VnExpress

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