Concerted efforts by all related sectors and stakeholders are vital to fully exploit HCM City’s tourism potential, city leaders said (Photo: ivivu.vn)

HCM City (VNA) - Concerted efforts by all related sectors and stakeholders are vital to fully exploit Ho Chi Minh City’s tourism potential, city leaders said.

Tourism is among the city’s key sectors, accounting for 10 percent of its economy, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Dinh La Thang said.

The tourism sector comprises many different components and inter-related parts like transportation, culture, trade and industry, health and public security, he said at a meeting with the city Department of Tourism last week.

A partnership involving the public and private sectors and stakeholders in tourism is needed for the sector’s sustainable development, he said.

He urged the deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee, Tran Vinh Tuyen, to helm efforts to usher in closer collaboration between related sectors and stakeholders to boost tourism development.  

The Saigon Safari Park project in Cu Chi District, which is expected to become the country’s largest eco-tourism facility, would be begun this year, Thang said.

A master plan for tourism on the Sai Gon River should be developed soon to make it a unique product, he said.

Wastewater should be treated properly to ensure a clean environment for river tours, he added.

Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of the tourism department, said the city has huge potential in river tourism but polluted water bodies and lack of places to dock have hindered its development.

It has a total of 1,150 travel agents, including 150 international ones, accounting for 20 per cent of the country’s total number, he said.

But it has yet to develop tourism links with other cities and provinces, he said.

Tran Vinh Tuyen, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee, said more unique tourism products and activities would be developed to attract tourists -- such as rural tourism in outlying districts, eco-tourism in Can Gio and the light art festival, street art festival, and unicorn-lion-dragon dance festival.

This year the city has targeted 5.8 million international visitors.

Last year there were 5.19 million arrivals, an increase of 13 percent from 2015.-VNA