Hồ Chí Minh City turbocharges tourism sector

August 21, 2022 - 08:16
The city is working with Thủ Đức City and its districts to develop and offer new tours, improve the city's product and service supply chain, and encourage collaboration with other regions of the country.
Tourists visit Hồ Chí Minh City's Notre Dame Cathedral. Photo courtesy of baotintuc.vn

Key tourism initiatives such as "Welcome to Hồ Chí Minh City" and "Each district has at least one product", have been carried out by HCM City's tourism sector since the beginning of the year.

The city is working with Thủ Đức City and its districts to develop and offer new tours, improve the city's product and service supply chain, and encourage collaboration with other regions of the country.

Four new tours have been introduced by the HCM City Department of Tourism, the District 8 People's Committee and local tourism businesses: "Festival on Bình Đông Wharf", "Good morning Sài Gòn", "Hundred Years of Sài Gòn - Fruits of the river vendors", and the "Tân Phú nostalgia", which includes visits to the Phú Thọ Hòa Tunnels, Ngọc Linh Ginseng Museum, and Pháp Vân Pagoda.

Tourists explore HCM City from a double-decker bus. Photo courtesy of baotintuc.vn

The Củ Chi People's Committee and the City's Department of Tourism have teamed up to host a tour titled "Củ Chi a place of peace, friendliness, and gratitude", which promotes the area's rich history, culture and cuisine.

Acording to Lê Đình Đức, vice chairman of the People's Committee of Củ Chi District, one of the district's top goals is to revive and promote tourism with a focus on agriculture. From there, travel enterprises in Củ Chi may enhance the value of farm produce, generate jobs for rural workers and increase tourism income.

Đức emphasised that Củ Chi focused on the potential of nature and history in the communes along the Sài Gòn River, as well as developing agricultural produce, tourism products and services.

Lê Trương Hiền Hòa, deputy director of the HCM Department of Tourism, said that the city's tourism authority had collaborated closely with key departments, agencies, and units to set conditions for the complete restoration of tourism in the post-COVID era.

The city has identified several solutions to lure tourists to return, such as focusing on new tourism products, enhancing existing tourism, innovating tourism promotion, and enhancing cooperation in tourism development with provinces and cities across the country.

Hòa said the city's tourism department valued the commitment of Thủ Đức City and other districts to being innovative in developing new tourist attractions and services. Tourists may retrace the country's heroic past, experience its unique culture, and enjoy local products.

Tourism innovation

The HCM City Department of Tourism report indicates a considerable increase in the quality of tourism products, income, tourist numbers, and tourist enterprises.

Unique tourism services such as waterway tourism, retail, food, and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) are helping reinforce the city's position domestically and internationally.

Visitors at the Sài Gòn Central Post Office built around 1886-1891. VNA/VNS Photo Gia Thuận

In the future, the city's tourism sector will continue its strategy of investing in facilities, infrastructure, and tourism products, such as creating tourist souvenirs, to boost the destination's appeal.

The souvenirs will exhibit the unique characteristics and identity of the city.

HCM City has introduced dental, herbal medicine, general checkup, and treatment medical product and service packages for its medical tourism.

On the commercial side, Saigontourist company is a pioneer in generating one-of-a-kind, authentic travel products for expanding domestic tourism.

Bicycling is popular for tourists to explore Cần Giờ District, home to picturesque landscape and biosphere reserve. VNA/VNS Photo Mỹ Phương

The company is also launching new tours to discover the city's neighbourhoods for domestic and international tourists.

According to Đoàn Thị Thanh Trà, marketing director of Saigontourist, these tours are perfect for families and small groups of friends as the staycation lasts only a day every Saturday or Sunday.

The goal of each trip is to make visitors feel a deeper connection to the city while providing them with an honest insight into its transformation.

"The trip isn't long, but the tour guide's insider knowledge ensures that even in often visited locations, guests will find new and exciting things to see and do," she said.

Positive sign

According to Traveller, a travel company, the number of foreign tourists who visited Việt Nam in March was more than 65 per cent of the total for the first three months of this year.

Traveller also reported a 2.5-fold increase in foreign tourists to Việt Nam in April over March due to the reopening of many international routes.

This is a promising indication of progress for Việt Nam's tourism industry, which the pandemic has hampered for a long time.

Foreign visitors look for tourism information at a travel agent in HCM City. VNA/VNS Photo Gia Thuận

Traveller's CEO Bùi Đức Tuệ said the company was always up for working with local tour operators to serve as a bridge for delivering popular tourism products abroad.

To better align with the tourism authority's policy of restoring, developing, and stimulating Việt Nam tourism, Traveller has launched a summer 2022 promotion that includes free international travel insurance, covering costs associated with COVID-19 treatment, and other valuable perks for passengers taking flights to and from Việt Nam.

Phạm Hùng Việt, deputy commercial director of Vietjet Aviation JSC, said the company expects local and international visitors' demand to continue to rise this summer.

Vietjet plans to add more flights to accommodate the summer tourist peak, linking popular domestic and international tourist destinations such as HCM City, Hà Nội, Nha Trang, Đà Nẵng, and Phú Quốc to several countries, including Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India.

Notably, in HCM City, Vietjet is partnering to support the "Welcome to HCM City' programme by painting aeroplanes with the city's tourism symbols, producing great songs to promote the city's image, and supporting tourism promotion activities.

This amazing southern city is increasingly a shining star of the country's tourism sector. VNS