Saigon transforms traditional medicine district to treat tourists

Nga Do
Authorities aim to create a traditional medicine area as a new selling point to boost tourism. Several streets in Ho Chi Minh City's District 5, home to over a hundred Eastern medicine businesses, will soon assume a new role as a tourist attraction, according to a proposal issued this morning by the city's authorities.

According to the plan, streets in Ward 10, District 5, including Luong Nhu Hoc, Trieu Quang Phuc and Hai Thuong Lan Ong, will become new spots recommended by tourism companies for a visit and shopping tour.

The three streets are currently home to 128 businesses, manufacturing and healthcare facilities for traditional medicine, said Pham Quoc Huy, chairman of District 5.

Saigon transforms traditional medicine district to treat tourists2

Among those, 18 businesses on Luong Nhu Hoc Street were recommended by tourism companies in late 2016 in a pilot program to attract more tourists to the city.

Huy said the other two streets will be added to create an “Eastern Medicine Area” in District 5, creating a new selling point for the city's tourism industry.

A “Week of Eastern Medicine” will be held from February 23 to 26 in District 5 as an introduction to the area for tourists and visitors, the district leader said.

Saigon transforms traditional medicine district to treat tourists3

HCMC plans to welcome 6 million visitors in 2017, so authorities are pushing for new ideas that will help boost tourism to meet their goal.

Huy said that after traditional medicines, District 5 aims to implement other programs. These include turning Nguyen Trai Street – one of the busiest streets in the city – into a fashion hotspot, in addition to promoting a late night market, a food court and a tram system connecting districts 5 and 6.

Based on a report of municipal Tourism Department, HCMC in 2016 welcomed 5.2 million tourists, a 10 percent surged from 2015 with total revenue from the industry rise by 9 percent, reaching VND103 trillion ($4.5 billion).

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