The central province of Quảng Nam and Đà Nẵng have agreed to start dredging a 28km section of the Cổ Cò River to boost commercial water traffic between Hội An and Đà Nẵng.
Vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, Lê Trí Thanh, told Việt Nam News the project was scheduled for operation in 2020.
Thanh said the project would cost VNĐ1.24 trillion (US$55 million) to expand inner waterway services between the two tourism hubs, which have largely been neglected due to the use of roads.
He said the province had already dredged a 9km stretch of the river.
The waterway project will include 50-seat boats, bridges, wharves and recreational centres as alternatives to exploring Đà Nẵng and Hội An by car or motorbike.
Đà Nẵng also plans to launch eight inner river tours.
According to the city’s tourism department, 660,000 tourists had booked river tours in 2019.
The launch of the project would help ease traffic between Hội An – a UNESCO world heritage site – and Đà Nẵng.
Đà Nẵng’s port hosted 74 cruise ships carrying 87,000 international tourists in 2018 – 29.9 per cent of the country’s total cruise tourists – and almost all cruise tourists visited Hội An.
In 2017, Đà Nẵng and Quảng Nam Province inked an agreement on integrated management of the Vu Gia-Thu Bồn river basin and Quảng Nam-Đà Nẵng coastline with support from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International (ISET-International).