Ho Chi Minh City: Street art, pedestrian malls lure visitors

16:03 | 05/07/2017 Travel

(VEN) - Ho Chi Minh City is pursuing the goal of attracting about 5.5 million foreign visitors and earning VND116 trillion from tourism services this year, a rise of 2.62 percent compared with 2016. To that end, it is creating new tourism products.  

In mid-May 2017, Ho Chi Minh City launched a street art performance program called “Ho Chi Minh City Street Show”, which will take place periodically from 8pm to 9pm on Saturdays and Sundays, except for certain occasions. The creative combination between contemporary street art in the world and Vietnamese folk cultures makes the show different from other art performances. The program also presents special folk music styles, such as Quan Ho singing, Don Ca Tai Tu singing and Gong Chieng dancing. These types of art are combined to introduce the national culture to international visitors.

In April 2017, the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Department launched a new tour to Can Gio District. The city hopes to turn Can Gio into an attractive tourist destination, similar to Thailand’s resort town of Pattaya.

In late October, Ho Chi Minh City will for the first time organize a fashion and technology festival on Nguyen Hue Walking Street. The festival will consist of more than 100 stalls introducing the products of domestic and foreign designers. Fashion shows will take place with the support of modern technology that allows customers to buy online and try on fashion products through a specially designed screen.

Apart from these special tourism products, Ho Chi Minh City recently introduced an area specializing in selling gold, silk and jewelry products, which is part of Hoa Binh Market in District 5. Shortly before that, the city introduced an area selling traditional medicines, also in District 5. The Bui Vien Walking Street in District 1 will be put into pilot operation on July 15, from 9pm on weekends. In September, it will commence official operation seven days per week. Ho Chi Minh City is also upgrading the roadbed, shops and restaurants alongside Bui Vien Street to make it tourist-friendly.

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee recently worked out a plan to develop waterway tourism products in the 2017-2020 period. Under the plan, at least seven waterway tourism programs will be implemented on the Saigon, Dong Nai, Nha Be, Soai Rap and Long Tau rivers and canals in urban areas. The city expects to attract about 450,000 waterway tourists per year in 2017 and 2018 and to see an annual growth rate of about 15 percent in ensuing years. Revenue from waterway tourism is projected to reach VND540 billion and grow 15 percent per year.

Tourism is expected to become a key economic sector of Ho Chi Minh City, with its revenue set to grow 15-16 percent per year and reach VND165-170 trillion by 2020, contributing over 11 percent to the city’s gross domestic product.

Ngọc Thao