Investment opportunities and solutions to boost tourism in Ho Chi Minh City in 2001-2010
Tourist attractions in HCM City that call for investment:
+ Historical and cultural park in Thu Duc: The park features several miniaturized copies of typical Vietnamese people’s cultural projects in Vietnam, arranged in the chronological order of Vietnamese history, and spectacular traditional art performances. The park is scheduled for construction on a total land area of 300 hectares on Long Binh Hill, close to Dong Nai River. Visit time is at least three hours. Total estimated capital is over VND1,000 billion.
+ Ornamental fish and bird market and Tao Dan Cultural Park : Tao Dan Park would be rezoned into two areas: one for display of plants and sale of orchids and bonsai; and the other for animal display, pet selling and sometimes animal circus shows. This is also the venue for domestic and international bonsai and orchid contests. Visit time is at least one hour.
+ Streets and markets in District 5 are typical places showing everyday life, especially activities likely to be of interest to international visitors. It is necessary to form a Chinatown in District 5 to introduce the Chinese community in Vietnam with its own cultural traditions.
+ Floating tours, eco-tours and tours to craft villages in District 9, District 12, Hoc Mon and Cu Chi : It is necessary to:
- Establish a grid of orchards with typical southern garden features.
- Rearrange tourism services for the convenience of domestic and international travelers.
- Combine waterway and roadway transports to diversify eco-tours and orchard tours.
+ War Remnants Museum : This should be upgraded into a (real) museum instead of being a venue of display as it is today. Display content should feature not only wars in Vietnam but also historic battles narrating the fierceness of wars and at the same time arousing love for peace. It is also necessary to find a bigger venue with hills and rivers where historic battles can be recreated.
+ The Reunification Palace : Tourists find the Reunification Palace a place for history learning, not just for appreciation of its architectural beauty. History should not only be demonstrated by a building or a video clip with commentary, but should be recreated with lively sight and sound as well. We can learn the models of wax museums of some other museums in the world and equip the Reunification Hall with modern audiovisual means. Visit time is more than one hour.
+ Shopping malls : We should arrange shops and malls in HCM City that serve international tourists based upon current strong points such as garments, traditional textiles, leather products, lacquerware, rattan and bamboo products, jewelry, embroidery, and more. The malls should be near the heart of the city (like Dong Khoi St.) and should be open at night.
Developing these tourist attractions according to the plans will help raise their attractiveness and will lead to tours for domestic and international travelers.
Developing general parks in HCM City is necessary to serve domestic tourists:
+ Dam Sen Cultural Park : It is vital to improve the quality and content of activities at Dam Sen Cultural Park by coming up with more interesting themes and applying high technology.
+ Suoi Tien Tourist Resort should be upgraded into a theme park.
+ Some other theme parks such as Zoological and Botanical Garden, Water Park, Water World, Wonderland need more art shows to attract foreign tourists instead of only serving local people as now.
+ Cu Chi Tunnels : To ensure the attractiveness of the tunnels, it is advisable not to gather a big number of tourists at a single site but divide Cu Chi into different areas separated by trees that will also give tourists a feeling of getting lost amid a tropical forest full of traps, as in wartime. More of the tunnels should be made available for tourists to explore themselves. More loudspeakers playing bombing sounds with suitable volumes should be installed. The shooting ground needs to be moved further to give elderly tourists feelings of safety. In addition, we should offer more tourist services by helicopters and tanks used in wartime.
+ Revolution Museum : Contents should be diversified. The museum should be turned into the museum of the “history of economic, political, socio-cultural life of Saigonese people.”
+ A special hall for displaying economic achievements should be built in HCM City. Displayed there would be examples of the city’s achievements in technology and science especially. Figures displayed must be updated at least every six months.
+ Can Gio Tourist Resort : One part of Can Gio should be turned into a tourist resort, cooperating with neighboring Vung Tau in developing beach sports. It is also necessary to rezone the area at the Saigon River Estuary for ecological tourism. The area, dubbed a “mini-Amazon” thanks to its unique ecological system of tropical mangrove forest, is best suited for exploration tours by sampans, combined with fishing. Tourists’ stay would be at least one day. Since Can Gio has been recognized as a world biosphere reserve park, tourism development must meet international regulations on preservation.
+ Thanh Da – Binh Quoi Tourist Resort : More investments should be made to build water sports facilities for swimming, rowing and surfing. All these, together with floating tours and luxurious villas will best address tourists’ demand for relaxation and recovery. Tourists’ stay would be at least one day.
Developing tourist transport services
It is essential to develop a fleet of tourist buses as well as high-class cars used for specific tourists groups (MICE tourists, business people and upper-class tourists). Besides, there should be a tourist port in District 7 that can accommodate tourist ships.
Developing shopping malls
Several supermarkets should be rezoned and upgraded into typical shopping centers of the city.
Besides developing supermarkets and department stores, there is a need to rezone and develop shopping streets to meet tourists’ demand for shopping while strolling. It is a way to ensure safety, hygiene, price and quality. There should be pedestrian streets in the heart of District 1 and District 5 as a way of encouraging tourists to get out and about.
Developing international fairs and conferences
The city needs a center for trade fairs, conferences and exhibitions. Built on the minimum land area of 20,000 to 30,000 square meters, the center must comprise all kinds of conference rooms with equipment meeting regional standards and capable of accommodating at least 1,000 exhibitors. Cooperation with foreign partners is the best choice for the city authority. Construction of such a center must comply with the development of the future city in Thu Thiem so that a new center with all necessary functions will eventually come into being.