The festival is expected to contribute to turning Ho Chi Minh City into a destination for events, according to a press briefing held by the municipal Department of Tourism on Monday to announce a series of tourism promotion programs in the second quarter.

This year’s river festival will take place on a larger scale than the first edition, said Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, director of the department.

The fest will be held at Nha Rong – Khanh Hoi Wharf, Saigon Cruise Port, and other tourist venues.

Fest-goers will be treated to as many as 22 tourism, cultural, entertainment, shopping, and cuisine activities, as well as art and sporting performances.

An art show titled ‘Legendary Voyage’ will be the highlight of the second festival.

Furthermore, a wide range of promotional programs and discounts on tours will be on offer during the event, while revelers can join a river cuisine contest, a southern fruit festival, and a fruit market in District 8.

The municipal department is working to introduce the river festival to Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand with an effort to further tap these potential tourist source markets, said the representative of the city’s tourism agency.

In 2023, the river festival was first organized in the city between August 4 and 6, drawing 51,000 visitors.

During the fest, the city’s room occupancy rate climbed 20 percent against normal days, while restaurants operated at full capacity.

Waterway tours attracted a large number of tourists, with the count of passengers on board yachts during the event last year surging. 

According to the tourism department, some 1.4 million international visitors traveled to Ho Chi Minh City in the first three months of 2024, jumping 32.4 percent year on year and meeting 23 percent of the full-year target.

In March alone, the city welcomed nearly 481,000 international tourists, a 30.3-percent year-on-year climb.