Red River Tourism: Sufficient Investment Needed

3:25:35 PM | 11/25/2015

The Red River is the testament to Vietnam’s historical stages and the keeper of culture and customs of Vietnamese people. Therefore, the introduction of Red River tourist routes by boat is very meaningful for those who want to learn about the history and culture of Hanoi and Vietnam. If reasonably invested, this will be a new appealing tourism product.
Attractive spiritual cultural tours
Tourists will hear different names of places along the river, like Nam Sang in Nam Dinh or Thien Mac in Hung Yen where Tien Dung and Chu Dong Tu meet in a fairytale. The Red River runs through many northern provinces, ending in Thanh Hoa, and has many different names called by people in different localities like Thao and Nhi Ha. The Red River was named by Frenchmen when they ruled the country. Travelling on the river, you will feel new interesting experience when you stand in the middle of water currents in a charming landscape. You will have the chance to admire the beauty of ancient riverside temples and pagodas, explore people’s life along the river, visit Bat Trang pottery village, taste famous Anh Vu fish (in Phu Tho province), tour Van Phuc silk village (Thanh Tri district) or Ninh So rattan village.
Speaking at a seminar on "Survey on river travel products on Red River, Hanoi - Hung Yen," travel operators agreed that the river landscape is very charming, particularly when boats pass beautiful bridges like Long Bien, Chuong Duong, Nhat Tan, Thanh Tri and Vinh Tuy. The most interesting experience is to sightsee and visit riverside temples and pagodas, a characteristic value of the Red River culture. In northern Vietnam, every village has communal houses, temples, brick kilns and rice paddies beside the river. This experience is totally different from overland tours.
Adequate investment needed
Despite having huge tourism potential, this route only serves 300,000 tourists a year, of which 20 - 30 percent are foreigners, while this is a very enchanting tour, particularly for foreigners, said Hanoi General Tour Corporation (GTC), which operates Red River tours. Currently, there is only one daily tour to Bat Trang pottery village and Ninh So rattan village. GTC hoped to be a bridge to bring tourists to Hung Yen, Vinh Phuc and Phu Tho from the river.
The poor result is attributed to various factors, including insufficient infrastructure and limited bar service, which is attractive to foreigners.
After the survey on Red River travel products, Hanoi - Hung Yen, Mr Nguyen Van Tuan, General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said services on ships are not very good, citing that they do not offer local specialties and souvenirs of the Red River provinces. He noted that companies investing in Red River tourism development must optimise profitability by offering value added services.
Nguyen Quy Phuong, Director of the Travel Department, VNAT, stressed that river-way lacks investment for development, even with Hanoi. Therefore, media agencies should boost communication on river to raise the awareness of the government in the huge potential of the Red River. It is important to attract investors to build tourism ships and construct river ports for passenger transportation.

Giang Tu