FUN TIMES: Bùi Viện Pedestrian Street is a popular tourist spot at night. Photo sggp.org.vn
More nighttime tourism services would help extend tourists’ length of stay and spending in HCM City, experts have recommended.
Nguyễn Quang Khương, a visitor from Hà Nội, said fun activities in the city take place mostly during the day.
“Finding things to do after 10pm is relatively hard as most restaurants and movie theatres are closed. A popular destination includes Bùi Viện Walking Street, but it mostly serves foreigners,” he added.
Marketing and information director of Bến Thành Tourist Trần Thị Phương Linh said that pedestrian streets in HCM City lacked outdoor stages. There are also a number of quality pedestrian streets and river cruises.
Director of Travel Federation Từ Quý Thành said the list of places that offer night services is scattered across districts 1, 3 and 5, among others. An entertainment complex that offers different night activities such as dining, shopping and entertainment, similar to those in Singapore and Thailand, is necessary for tourists to enhance their experiences.
“It is also crucial to not let service providers ‘swim’ by themselves,” Thành said.
“Authorities should gather statistics on how effective the implementation of previous food streets are, and support small businesses if needed. Food safety and security also concern tourists. Since epidemic prevention is important, tourism service providers should be regularly reminded to follow COVID-19 prevention regulations,” he added.
Night tourism development
Many travel agencies affirmed that tourists are excited to try out the nightlife in HCM City, especially foreigners whose time zones are different.
According to the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism, international tourists’ spending in Việt Nam is lower than that in Thailand. For instance, while a foreign visitor will spend US$163 per day for a total of nine days in Thailand, this figure falls to US$96 in Việt Nam.
NIGHT GLOW: Bến Thành Market after dark. File Photo
General director of Saigontourist Travel Nguyễn Hữu Y Yên said that current night tourism products in HCM City mostly serve domestic tourists. He praised the launches of new pedestrian streets as they can increase the spending of locals, and domestic and international travellers, similar to how Tạ Hiện Street in Hà Nội has been doing.
The further goal is to increase the length of stay and spending level of tourists, so it is important for authorities to carefully plan tourism activities.
Director of the HCM City Department of Tourism Nguyễn Thị Ánh Hoa said the city has devised feasible solutions, including creating a favourable environment for the tourism community to thrive, supporting tourism start-ups, and promoting alliances between businesses to increase the competitive advantages of tourism products.
The department will focus on cultural-historical tourism, culinary tourism and shopping tourism, along with three potential groups that make a difference to HCM City, namely waterway travel, MICE tourism, medical tourism, and entertainment tourism and night tourism. VNS
UNDER STARS: HCM City’s downtown area lit up. Photo kenhdulich.org