HCMC tourism dept proposes permitting casinos on board foreign cruise vessels

08/08/2017 17:26

The HCMC Department of Tourism has proposed the city government allow foreign cruise ships to keep their casinos and duty-free shops open while visiting the city.

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Foreign tourists on a visit to Can Gio District, HCMC 

In Danang and Thua Thien-Hue, international cruise vessels can provide all its services for their passengers while they are at anchor, the department said.

Early last year, the central coast city of Danang permitted foreign cruise ships to offer services like casinos and duty-free shops. Recently, neighboring Thua Thien-Hue Province followed suit.

Domestic firms which provide services for foreign cruise ships said there are no regulations banning these services at the moment. More than 20 years ago, when customs officers went on board foreign cruise ships for checks, they always ordered the vessels to close their casinos and duty-free shops for fear of smuggling.

The HCMC Tourism Department included the proposal in a report on development orientations and potential in the tourism sector in the city.

In the report, the department also proposed constructing a pier for domestic waterway services at Thi Vai Port in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province so that foreign cruise tourists can directly visit HCMC’s Can Gio District by boat.

Travel firms which arrange tours for foreign visitors to Can Gio mangrove forest cannot take cruise passengers to Can Gio directly from Thi Vai if they do not ask border guards for prior permission.

According to the HCMC government, the first six months saw nearly 2.8 million international tourists coming to the city, up 15% year-on-year. Tourism revenue rose 12% from a year before to VND53.6 trillion, 48% the year’s target of VND112 trillion.