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|Foreign tourists visit the Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh City. - VNS Photo Thu Hang|
The department will integrate appropriate types of tourism into the master plan to develop the city as a world-class tourist destination, according to Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, deputy director of the department.
Over the past few years, the city has been developing tourism activities of various types, including cultural heritage, agriculture, ecology, river-based, cuisine, shopping, and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events), Hoa said at a Dialogue with the Municipal Government on the Voice of Ho Chi Minh City People (VOH).
The programme, with the topic “Development of Tourism Products in Ho Chi Minh City”, aired on July 28.
Since 2015, the number of international tourist arrivals to the city has increased at an average rate of 16 per cent annually, while domestic tourism has risen at the rate of 12 per cent, according to Hoa.
In the first seven months of the year, the number of foreign tourist arrivals totalled 4.4 million, making the target of 7.5 million foreign tourist arrivals this year achievable.
Cao Thanh Binh, deputy head of the city People’s Council’s economic and budget committee, said the city had diversified tourism products as well as organised various cultural and tourism festivals and events.
However, many new tourism products have failed to meet tourists’ expectations, he said.
Boat tours along Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal, for example, which were expected to become an exciting river-based tourism activity, have failed to attract tourists after three years of operation.
Polluted water, the dirty environment, lack of a lighting system and uninteresting landscape along waterways resulted in few tourists for this activity, Binh said.
He said the Department of Tourism should complete the city’s strategy for tourism development soon. The strategy would be a foundation for the sustainable development of the tourism sector, and help it become “a spearhead economic sector”.