The citys tourism department said it would launch surveys next month to find suitable routes for tourists and consider services needed for the citys river tourism.
Earlier, the department ascertained huge potential in river tourism after making surveys on two short routes, with one starting from Bach Dang Wharf to the confluence of Nha Be, and from the wharf to Tau Hu Canal.
Asked to comment on the expanded river tourism, most tour operators told the Daily they supported the scheme, but decried the lack of a wharf for tourist boats. They called for quick development of such a wharf.
There are around 20 tourist boats, floating restaurants, and canoes operating at the Bach Dang Wharf in the citys District 1. At the wharf, such boats can drop anchor at the end of Nguyen Hue Boulevard and the end of Hai Ba Trung Street to receive guests but cannot be moored there for a long time because space is limited.
Furthermore, as Bach Dang Wharf is not a tourist wharf so it lacks services for guests as well as places for tourist buses to drop by., Sapa tours
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Binh Quoi currently has six boats and canoes operating on the river section between Binh Quoi and Bach, Voyage vietnam
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The tourism department estimated foreign arrivals in the city this month at around 188,000, up 20% year-on-year but down around 12,000 compared to June as now is the low season of the inbound sector. Tourism revenue is expected at, Ha Giang tours
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departing from HCM City, Hanoi, Danang, Can Tho and Quang Ninh.
In addition to discounts on tours, tourists have more choices of itineraries and departure points to enjoy the wonders of Angkor. Tourists departing from HCM City can take an overland five-day visiting and relaxing at the sea paradise of Sihanoukville-Angkor tour, priced at US$259, departing on Wednesdays. To save time and expense, tourists can choose the three-day traveling mysterious Angkor, priced at US$205-228, excluding air tickets, departing on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays or a two-day discovering Phnom Penh tour at the price of US$98, departing on Saturdays.
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Although tourists this year have booked tours for Tet (Lunar New Year) earlier than in previous years and travel agencies stopped taking registrations a month ago, tours to Cambodia are still available.
A representative of Ben Thanh Tourist told the Daily, “We are only taking bookings for Cambodia tours
while tours to other destinations were stopped at the end of last year.”
Tours to Cambodia are also available at Lua Viet Tours, Vietcircle Travel and Service Co. Ltd. and Vietravel. These four day package tours start at VND4 million.
Vietravel is offering a six day tour to China starting on February 14 and 15 for VND17 million and a five day tour to Thailand starting on February 19 for VND7 million. Vietcircle is offering a six day tour to Thailand starting on February 18 for VND10 million and a tour to India for a pilgrimage starting on February 22 for VND36 million.
Domestic tours are also available. Ben Thanh Tourist is serving tours of southern provinces for two or four days. Other tour operators have tours to beaches such as Nha Trang and Phan Thiet and Con Dao Island for around VND4 million and four day tours to Dalat for under VND3 million. Lua Viet Tours is discounting all of its domestic tours by 5%-8%.