HCM City seeks to diversify tourism products hinh anh 1Foreign tourists at the Independence Palace in HCM City. (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNS/VNA) - The tourism sector of Ho Chi Minh City needs to focus on developing river-based tourism, cuisine tourism, MICE tourism as well as organise festivals and nighttime activities, a municipal leader has said.

Speaking at a conference held this week, Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Council Nguyen Thi Le asked the city’s Department of Tourism to diversify tourism products and step up the adoption of information technology and digital transformation for marketing and promotion activities as part of measures to boost tourism development.

Marketing and promotion activities needed to focus on major traditional markets as well as potential markets, Le said.

She ordered the People’s Committee and related departments to build more boat docks and upgrade infrastructure to support businesses to develop river-based tourism products.

Tourism linkages with localities in the Mekong Delta and the southeast region needed to be strengthened to create more inter-provincial tours, she said.

"Lack of quality human resources in tourism and travel is one of the issues that the tourism sector needs to promptly address," she added.

Dang Thi Thi Thanh, Deputy General Director of BenThanh Tourist, said tourism businesses found it very difficult to access subsidised loans as travel firms had no assets to mortgage for the loan.

She proposed that the city authorities offer flexible policies to make it easier for businesses to get low-interest loans.

Support packages for tourism businesses such as reductions of value-added taxes and corporate income taxes should be extended until year end, she said.

Huynh Ngoc Van, Director of Ao Dai Museum, said cultural heritage played an important role in tourism and coordinated efforts between cultural and tourism agencies were needed to introduce cultural activities to tourists.

It was difficult for museums to continue to keep employees on their payroll due to a drop in income, Van said.

Museums in the city needed support from the Government to retain employees, she said.

Huynh Phan Phuong Hoang, Deputy General Director of Vietravel, said the city’s authorities should support businesses to diversify tourism offerings, promote linkages with neighbouring provinces for inter-provincial tour packages and develop the night economy.

These measures would help tourists stay longer and spend more on their trips, Hoang said.

Duong Anh Duc, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said tourism was a driving force for economic development, contributing significantly to the city’s GDP.

It was vital to improve the quality of products and services and push for digital marketing to develop tourism sustainably, Duc said.

In the first nine months of this year, the city welcomed more than 2.1 million international visitor arrivals and 21.6 million domestic visitor arrivals. Tourism revenue totalled 92.4 trillion VND (3.88 billion USD)./.