The municipal People’s Committee announced it at a seminar on waterway tourism held in the city recently.
Under the plan, at least seven waterway tourism products will be developed along Saigon, Dong Nai, Nha Be, Soai Rap and Long Tau rivers and Ben Nghe, Te, Tau Hu and Lo Gom canals by 2020.
The number of tourists purchasing waterway tourism products is expected to reach 450,000 next year, with a growth rate of 15 per cent a year on average.
As part of the plan, the first public river bus route in Ho Chi Minh City has begun operation since last month.
The number of tourists purchasing waterway tourism products is expected to reach 450,000 next year.
The 10.8-km Bach Dang- Linh Dong route, with 12 stops, starts at Bach Dang Wharf in District 1, and goes through districts Binh Thanh, Thu Duc, 1 and 2.
Bui Xuan Cuong, director of the city’s Department of Transport, said many waterway tourism routes would be developed in coming years, including routes from Ho Chi Minh City to Binh Duong, and to Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces.
Greenlines DP Company will launch high-speech boats for a route from the Ho Chi Minh City centre to Can Gio District on December 23, he said.
Ho Chi Minh City has 1,000 km of rivers and canals connecting the city with the neighboring provinces of Binh Duong, Tay Ninh, Dong Nai, Long An and Ba Ria-Vung Tau and the provinces of the Mekong Delta.
At the seminar, participants suggested that the city should build more boat stops to develop river tours into a major tourism product of the city to attract more travel enterprises to invest in the sector.
The city currently has only three boat stops, namely Tan Cang, Cau Mong and Vuon Kieng, and last named situated at Bach Dang Wharf. Among them, Tan Cang station is far from the city centre and Vuon Kieng station has just been upgraded.
Meanwhile, the fee to use Cau Mong station is high, VND500,000 for a boat each time. Besides, the station has no restrooms, so only four enterprises have used the facility, said Lieu Thi My Hanh, sales director of Hoang Trieu Construction Investment Corporation which operates 15 canoes.
Other companies trading in restaurants and yachts in the Saigon River such as Indochina Travel Yacht, Viet Princess and Blue Pearl Voyages also agreed that the city should build boat stops at favorable positions, saying they are willing to invest in these projects.
Nguyen Dinh Cuong, managing director of Blue Pearl Voyages, said that the company wants to invest $10 million in the initial stage of a yacht station project on Nguyen Binh Street of Nha Be District.
Besides, Nguyen Van My, Director of Lua Viet Travel Company, said restaurants, shopping services and tourist destinations should be carefully planned along the river to attract tourists.
Unnecessary requirements to operate river transport and tourism services should be streamlined to encourage more investors, My said.