SAIGONTOURIST GROUP TO ORGANIZE THE FIRST WATERWAY TOUR DURING HO CHI MINH CITY TOURISM RECOVERY PERIOD
On October 24, 2021, Saigontourist Group held a ceremony to welcome the first group of 50 tourists to visit Can Gio by waterway - Deployed a plan to restore Ho Chi Minh City tourism in conditions of safe adaptation of Covid-19. Participating in the ceremony was the presence of Ms. Phan Thi Thang - Vice Chairman of the City People's Committee, together with leaders of different Departments, media agencies, and the group of tourists.
Ms. Phan Thi Thang - Vice Chairman of the City People's Committee
This is the first waterway tour for commercial tourists when Ho Chi Minh City begins to recover tourism activities after a long period of social distancing. 50 visitors including Vietnamese and foreigners working in Ho Chi Minh City are the first guests of the commercial tour program. The tour follows the success of the road tour programs to the green areas of Can Gio, Cu Chi, Tay Ninh that expressed gratitude to the Covid-19 frontline forces in Ho Chi Minh City since last September. From September 19 to October 21, 2021, over 10 tribute tours were successfully organized by Saigontourist Group in collaboration with city Departments and agencies under the direction of city leaders.
“This is the first sightseeing program by river for tourists following Bach Dang - Can Gio route by speedboat. This river tourism product is the result of the initiative and efforts of the tourism industry and businesses in order to restore Ho Chi Minh City tourism activities in particular and economic activities in general," Ms. Phan. Thi Thang - Vice Chairman of the City People's Committee, delivered a keynote speech at the event.
Mr. Vo Anh Tai - Deputy General Director of Saigontourist Group.
Mr. Pham Huy Binh - Saigontourist Group Chairman of the Board of Members, shared: “This tour program is one of Saigontourist Group system’s business activities, which concretizes the direction of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City according to the Plan to restore the city's tourism industry in the safe adaptation of Covid-19 from now to 2022. The Plan has just been issued by the City People's Committee on October 14, 2021. Although this is a single tourism product, it has an important meaning as it shows the efforts to recover the tourism industry of Saigontourist Group system and Saigontourist Travel Service Company, the unit which directly organizes the tour."
Saigontourist Travel Service Company, an affiliate of Saigontourist Group, directly organizes the tour. Another unit of Saigontourist Group, Vam Sat Ecopark, is in charge of providing tourism products and services for tourists at the destination.
It was a one day trip, along the route Can Gio - Hamlet Thieng Lieng, Thanh An island commune - Vam Sat Ecopark. The trip was operated by new generation Greenlines speedboat. This is the ideal choice for individual groups, families, agencies and organizations.
The destination of this "green voyage" was Can Gio - the largest mangrove forest and also the green lung of Ho Chi Minh City, which has been recognized by UNESCO as the first biosphere reserve of Vietnam in the system of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) in 2000.
Departing from Bach Dang wharf, visitors refresh their new day emotions with vivid images of the city center, Thu Thiem peninsula and the city tallest building - Landmark 81. Down the Saigon River, the boat takes visitors through many landmarks associated with the historical development of Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City, such as Thu Ngu flagpole, Nha Rong wharf, Ben Nghe port, Phu My bridge, Den Do cape, petroleum depot, Binh Khanh ferry terminal.
From the boat, visitors can enjoy the "movie footage" quickly panning the landscape on both sides of the river. Throughout the journey, constructions, buildings, residential areas gradually fade, giving way to pure green areas, simple scenes in contrast to the daily hustle of the modern city.
Arriving at Thieng Lieng hamlet (in Thanh An island commune, Can Gio district), visitors go ashore to ride bicycles around the small island, learn about local people's life with salt making worshop, rest and relax with a foot bath using local herbal salt, enjoy the tune of “homegrown” Southern amateur music, drinking tea and enjoying fruit…
Arriving at Vam Sat Ecopark, visitors experience the river on a wooden boat weaving through the mangrove forest, visit the turmeric bat reserve, experience "crab fishing", and explore birds’ conservation area. Visitors experience the adventurous feeling with the "crocodile fishing yacht", conquer the Tang Bong tower and admire the panoramic view of the mangrove forest at an altitude of 26m. On the way back to Ho Chi Minh City, visitors can't help but be attached to the wonderful scenery of the river when they have the opportunity to admire the beauty of the golden sunset on the sparkling silver river.
The price of the tour package is 1,779 million VND per person, including insurance fees that count as well the Covid-19 insurance. Participating in the tour, visitors and service staff must fully meet the conditions of safety criteria issued by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City.
“I am very honored and excited about Saigontourist Group's new ecotourism program to visit Can Gio by waterway. The program is designed with the main emphasis on integrating into nature and encouraging sustainable development, honoring the local culture that will surely support and revive the hotel, tourism industry, attracting guests from different regions to come and experience services at local hotels, restaurants and entertainment spots”, Mr.Jean Philippe Lovotti, General Manager of 5-star Caravelle Hotel Saigon, one of the tourists participating in the tour, expressed his emotions.
Saigontourist Group is the pioneer in the efforts to recover the tourism industry in the safe adaptation of Covid-19, together with Ho Chi Minh City and the whole country.
Saigontourist Group has been actively preparing specific business plans in each unit, each location, with the motto that products and services must be developed to ensure safety, quality, with multiple options and a competitive price. Also with the tourism recovery plan, Saigontourist Group's accommodation, travel, food and entertainment businesses across the country have reopened for business, in strict compliance with regulations on safety criteria of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the People's Committees of the localities. In parallel, more than 70 members (hotels, resorts, tour operators, restaurants, amusement parks…) that belong to Saigontourist Group also implemented special stimulus promotion programs.
The experience of 24 hotels in Ho Chi Minh City serving the logistics support for thousands of frontline medical doctors in the past time, the staycation programs applied by 5-star hotels in the city center; or the pioneering Saigontourist Travel Service Company that has successfully organized gratitude tours, the first travel agency in Vietnam to offer Covid-19 insurance to tourists... are typical examples of proactiveness right in the most difficult times.
During the 4th outbreak wave of Covid-19, Saigontourist Group has been the pioneer and key unit in supporting accommodation and catering services for thousands of medical staff, doctors, nurses from different regions. They were mobilized by the Ministry of Health to participate in epidemic prevention and control along with medical staff and doctors from the City hospitals. The cost for this logistical support is estimated to over 300 billion VND. The group has jointly implemented many other practical activities such as sponsoring and successfully organizing more than 10 gratitude tours to Can Gio, Cu Chi and Tay Ninh to serve more than 1,300 visitors belonging to the frontline medical force, officials and army medical corps in Ho Chi Minh City. Saigontourist Group also cooperates with the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association to prepare cakes and nutritious drinks to for the medical team, Covid-19 patients, especially children patients in the city; organized the program "5,000 bowls of Phở with full of love to serve the frontline medical forces fighting the epidemic".
Regarding logistics support for epidemic prevention and control, Saigontourist Group recently sponsored 15,000 room vouchers and food service vouchers in 3-5 star hotels of the group in Ho Chi Minh City. The gift vouchers have a value of over 30 billion VND and are dedicated to the frontline medical force in the fight against the epidemic in Ho Chi Minh City.