Huế is making its first attempt to tidy the look of urban places busy with tourists in an attempt to reduce complaints about the messy environment.
A street in Huế. Many visitors have complained of being harassed by street vendors. VNS Photo Phước Bửu
On Monday, the local People’s Committee made sudden visits to several popular places around the city, including facilities along waterways and roads, to conduct checks on the safety and hygiene of the services they provide.
The team, comprised of the committee’s deputy chairman and administrational staff from the local Department of Tourism, visited boats at Tòa Khâm – a popular river boat station – to check on the availability of life jackets, waste dumping practices and service prices.
Boat trips on the famed Hương (Perfume) River in the city of Huế are popular among visitors during daylight hours thanks to the beauty of the river and the lively daily scenes along its banks.
Boat trips that include ca Huế singing, a traditional musical style of Huế, lure hundreds of visitors every night.
Local authorities, however, have for decades failed to control the safety and hygiene of these boats.
Visits have also complained of the overwhelming number of stands, tables and chairs present on the pavement of several busy streets, forcing them to walk in the road and putting them at risk of being hit by passing traffic.
Complaints also came from those who were stopped or harassed by street vendors, rickshaw drivers and shopkeepers.
During the visits, the committee’s deputy chairman Nguyễn Dung asked the Department of Tourism and authorities in related wards to exercise tighter control over tourist hotspots and services to ensure visitors to the city enjoy a pleasant experience.
Travel agents in the city applauded the move. A travel agency director who did not want to be named said this should be the first move of a campaign to ‘clean’ the tourism environment of Huế, one of the country’s most popular destinations. He suggested regular checks on tourism services to improve the public profile of the local tourism sector. — VNS