Improvements to Bến Thành Market's management needed: experts

October 31, 2023 - 09:41
Renovating HCM City's Bến Thành Market and applying technology in the market's management are important to further enhancing the visitor experience, according to experts.
Bến Thành Market is one of the most popular landmarks of HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo

HCM CITY — Renovating HCM City's Bến Thành Market and applying technology in the market's management are important to further enhancing the visitor experience, according to experts.

When visiting HCM City, over 80 per cent of international tourists request to explore Bến Thành Market.

According to travel companies, renovating the market is necessary to meet the demands of tourists, businesses and small traders, as well as relevant authorities.

It is also important to reconsider the surrounding bus stops and parking areas to ensure convenience in traversal, especially with the upcoming metro line.

Specialising in European tourists in the Vietnamese market, Nguyễn Ngọc Toản, director of the Image Travel & Events Company, told Tuổi Trẻ newspaper that many international tourists feel their journey to Việt Nam is incomplete without a visit to Bến Thành Market.

This illustrates the significant role that Bến Thành Market plays in the tourism landscape.

Therefore, preservation efforts should not only focus on its architecture but also the surrounding environment. A pedestrian-friendly landscape should be created, allowing tourists to explore easily.

“There should be pathways or routes for tourists to walk, making it easy for them to reach the market. The market's location should be easily accessible from nearby streets, creating a public space convenient for tourists to explore," suggested Toản.

Toản said it seems that the market now is isolated unintentionally as tourists who truly wish to visit the market have to navigate through various intersections.

"If there are pedestrian pathways and friendlier structures, we can retain wandering tourists who wish to explore dining, shopping, and entertainment experiences," Toản recommended.

Trịnh Văn Tùng, an international tour guide, also mentioned that in famous cities worldwide, alongside modern shopping centres, there are also attractive ancient markets.

"I have guided many groups in HCM City and they prefer visiting traditional markets like Bến Thành and Bình Tây rather than modern malls," Tùng said.

For the renovation of Bến Thành Market, it is crucial for authorities to consider the market’s traditional and longstanding value.

According to Phan Đình Huê, director of the Vòng Tròn Việt Company, the management of the market still has limitations. Tourists still encounter issues like overcharging, aggressive sales tactics, and inadequate service quality, which concern tourist communities.

Alongside architectural restoration, management improvements are essential, and how technology should be applied to trace the origins of products and manage prices is necessary.

Price must be regulated so that tourists can shop without worrying about substandard products or overpricing.

"Bến Thành Market is a very distinctive tourism product of the city and has become an icon that every visitor wants to explore. Upgrading the management approach so that visitors feel comfortable exploring, learning, and shopping is crucial. They shouldn't worry about being deceived," Huê added.

Even though the market's operating hours have been extended, lighting and decoration for the market at night are still inadequate, affecting tourists' shopping experiences.

"We have a metro, electric vehicles, and the 23-9 Park. We need to make the market easily accessible and connect it within a lively public space, extending to nearby areas like Lê Lợi Street and Nguyễn Huệ Street, where tourists are eagerly anticipated," a travel company leader told Tuổi Trẻ newspaper. — VNS