During a press conference in Ho Chi Minh City on August 7, the deputy chairman of Can Tho People’s Committee and head of the organising board, Pham Phuoc Nhu, said the year-long festival would highlight the Mekong Delta’s unique characteristics and numerous cultural activities that take place in the city and across neighbouring cities and provinces.
There are now nine cities and provinces registering to take part in the big tourism event, which will include the Southern Fruit Festival, an International Travel Expo, the festival of Ba Chua Xu (Country Lady), a Culture and Tourism Week, and other activities across HCMC, the provinces of An Giang and Kien Giang, and other locations.
New tours will be organised to offer tourists opportunities to explore the culture, history and rural scenery of the delta.
On stage, there will be more than one thousand artists from art troupes nationwide partaking in parades and musical performances.
Along with cultural and tourism activities, in 2008, Can Tho City will host several big openings of major infrastructure projects, including the Can Tho Airport in September and Can Tho Bridge in December.
Soon after the opening of the airport, Vietnam Airlines will launch the Can Tho-HCMC-Hanoi air route.
The city will spend nearly USD 2 million (VND 30 billion) for these activities. Nhu said the money would come from the city’s coffers and sponsors’ contributions.
According to figures from the Can Tho Tourism Department, the city currently has 115 hotels with 2,876 rooms. The city received 1.4 million visitors in 2006, an increase of 24% against 2005. In the first quarter of 2007, the city welcomed 163,000 tourists, a year-on-year increase of 41%.
Dinh Gia Khanh, director of the Can Tho Tourism Department, said the city was expected to receive 2 million tourists in 2008.