High hopes for Da Nang to use waterways for tourism

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In its efforts to develop new tourism products to lure domestic and international tourists back following full reopening of the country to international tourism, Da Nang recently opened an inland waterway route connecting it to Quang Ngai Province’s Ly Son Islands along with the CT15 route between Sup islet and Nam and Da beaches.

A sightseeing boat operating on the Han River. Photo: THANH LAN

Besides, the city is planning to open new inland route from Da Nang to Quang Nam Province’s Cham Islands, develop Co Co River tours, as well as build new piers, marinas, docks in an attempt to develop river boat tour into a unique tourism product in the city.

Mrs Nguyen Thi Hong Tham from the municipal Department of Tourism said that there are 10 river boat tour operators in the city that together offer 28 sightseeing boats with more than 2,000 seats.

She remarked that the percentage of tourists in Da Nang who take boat tours on the Han River - Tran Thi Ly route is 95% while only 5% explore the Han River - Chao Islet tour. The remaining routes are not qualified for tourism purposes. The majority of tourists in the city taking river boat tours are visitor groups, about 70% of whom are international guests.

Mrs Tham highlighted the need for Da Nang to promote the use of inland waterways for tourism as well as allow sightseeing boats under 30 seats, along with sailboats and ships that are docking in the city to travel through the Han River, around the Son Tra Peninsula, and the Da Nang bay.

During the 2022-2023 period, the focus will be on developing 6 new inland routes, namely: Han River - Tran Thi Ly Bridge; Han River - Sea Mouth- Son Tra Peninsula; Han River – Chao Islet; the Son Tra Peninsula area; Han River - Ngu Hanh Son; Cu De River - Truong Dinh; Cam Le - Tuy Loan - Thai Lai. High priority will be given to building 10 new inland wharves and ports for river cruise ships operating on the Han River - Vinh Dien River route; the Da Nang - Cham Island route and the Da Nang - Ly Son island route. In addition, the heed will be paid to developing boat tours from the Han River to Hoi An following completion of dredging activities at the Co Co River.

Although Da Nang boasts great potential for inland waterway transport tourism, there are some challenges that the city is facing. In particular, no stopping points are introduced during the journeys on the Han River - the Sea Mouth - Son Tra Peninsula route and the Han River – Chao Islet route. There are no products serving passengers during their boat tours around the Son Tra Peninsula and on the CT15 inland route.

On March 29, Da Nang opened an inland waterway route from Da Nang’s Han River Port to Quang Ngai Province’s Ly Son Islands. From Da Nang, the boat will take just over 2 hours to travel 70 nautical miles to reach Ly Son Islands.

Mr. Tran Van Trung, a member of the Board of Directors of Phu Quoc High-speed Ship Joint Stock Company (Phu Quoc Express) which is a tour operator on the Da Nang - Ly Son Island route, highlighted the significance of the opening of this inland waterway route in making connections in inland waterways between the two localities, diversifying their tourism products as well as promoting the development of tourism sector in the two localities.

Mr Trung unveiled that Phu Quoc Express plans to develop more boat tours departing from Da Nang to Quang Nam Province’s Cham Islands, Da Nang. Quang Tri Province’s Con Co Islands, and Khanh Hoa Province’s Truong Sa Island District in the future.

Mrs Truong Thi Hong Hanh, the Director of the Municipal Department of Tourism, underlined the need for Da Nang to speed up investment approval procedures for building international- standard ports for cruise tourism as well as to pour investment or call for invesment in these projects. The intention is to ensure effective operations of key inland waterway routes departing from Da Nang to Viet Nam’s islands, especially to Quang Ngai Province’s Ly Son Islands.

Lien Chieu District will take action to accelerate the construction of wharves in the North of the Nam O Bridge and the Ham Vang (Golden Tunnel) Wharf, as well as develop a number of rest stops and tourist attractions along the Cu De River.

Ngu Hanh Son District will speed up site clearance in the Dong No area as well as and promote the opening of the Han River - Ngu Hanh Son waterway route. Thai Lai Wharf located in Hoa Vang District will be soon recognized as eligible to receive river cruising ships by local authorities.

The municipal Department of Tourism will continue to give advice to the municipal administration to mobilize resources from local businesses to invest in the infrastructure at planned locations on the city’s inland waterways.

Reporting by THANH LAN – Translating by H.L

Source: Da Nang Today - baodanang.vn/english. - April 12, 2022