Ho Chi Minh City builds urban river-based tourism brand
Update: Jun 11, 2024
The second Ho Chi Minh City River Festival was successfully wrapped up on June 9 with impressive boat parade, artistic light show, and performances of water sports.

The success of the festival has revitalized the river system, contributing to positioning the city's tourism brand which is associated with rich cultural characteristics of urban rivers.

Vibrant city with rivers

An unique drone light show at Bach Dang Wharf in District 1 and Saigon River Park in Thu Duc city on the evening of June 9 sparkled Ho Chi Minh City’s sky. Illuminated drones flew in unison to form iconic symbols of the city named after President Ho Chi Minh in the sky, demonstrating a city rich in cultural identity and constantly moving towards the future while upholding cultural values.

Water sport activities within the festival.

Dozens of cruise ships, tourist boats, restaurant ships, and river buses colorfully adorned with brilliant lights cruised along the Saigon River. They all blended together to create a picture of a vibrant river city, helping bring unique experiences for local residents and visitors.

At Bach Dang Wharf Park, residents and tourists participated in the cultural space “Heritage Region,” introducing various unique cultural heritage elements, such as “Don ca tai tu” (amateur singing in Southern Vietnam), “Chau van” (a Vietnamese form of ritual singing), and “Quan ho Bac Ninh” (Bac Ninh love duet singing) and played folk games. Phan Van Binh, a resident of Go Vap district of Ho Chi Minh City, said that his family members were very impressed with the water sports performances and professional light shows right in the city and were excited to play folk games. “The festival helped us deeply understand the values of river-based tourism and be proud of the city where we live,” said Binh.

During the 10-day Ho Chi Minh City River Festival, residents and tourists experienced various traditional and modern culture and river-based tourism activities. According to Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, the festival has brought about values in terms of tourism and economy, culture and education, and communication and branding. The festival’s outcomes have encouraged the Southern hub to strengthen its tourism brand which is closely associated with rivers, contributing to attracting a larger number of domestic and international tourists to the city.

Building river-based tourism

With over 1,000 kilometers of waterways, Ho Chi Minh City's tourism industry has developed products not only on the Saigon River, but also on the inner-city canals, such as Nhieu Loc - Thi Nghe and Tau Hu - Ben Nghe, connecting with diverse historical and cultural heritage sites. According to tourism experts, the river festival has tapped into the water resources' values, creating an "impetus" to inspire tourists to explore Ho Chi Minh City's tourist destinations. The festival was also an opportunity to introduce waterway tourism products and river-based tours to visitors.

From a travel company's perspective, Director of Communications and Marketing at TST Tourist and Trading Service Joint Stock Company Nguyen Minh Man proposed periodic organization of the event and regular update of new contents that meet locals and tourists’ demand.

Drones form images of the Southern hub.

In order to turn Ho Chi Minh City into a destination for events and festivals, the city has developed tourism development strategy until 2030 with a focus on building unique tourism products, main tourism products, and supporting tourism products.

Deputy Secretary of the municipal Party Committee and Chairman of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Phan Van Mai emphasized that the river and canal system of Saigon - Gia Dinh - Ho Chi Minh City preserves cultural veins. The Ho Chi Minh City River Festival is an event to honor the beauty and values of rivers and spread pride and love for the city through diverse and unique activities. The city targets to turn the festival into a long annual event with a larger scale and bearing distinctive marks.

Translated by Tran Hoai

CPV - en.dangcongsan.vn - June 10, 2024