The pros and cons of nightlife tourism initiatives

By Viet Thanh   July 22, 2023 | 04:00 pm PT
The pros and cons of nightlife tourism initiatives
A bar on Bui Vien walking street, HCMC, waits for customers on January 10, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Quy
As Vietnamese tourism authorities draft plans to develop nightlife services and diversify tourism offerings after sunset to increase tourist spending, readers are mixed about the idea.

Some are doubtful about the effectiveness of the promotion nighttime tourism.

"People are going gaga about night tourism. But personally, I find that night tourism mainly serves young backpackers (aged 18-25, at most 30 years old), but this group does not spend much money. The elderly group, with deeper pockets, mainly spend on tours exploring the country and entertainment of high value. I wonder how much money night tourism can bring. Is it worth the consequences, like security problems? And does it suit Vietnam’s tourism image?"

"Night tourism is all about drinking, singing and shouting. That should be enough during the day. Don’t tourists have to worry about sleeping and staying healthy? Many social evils can come with people partying all night. Honestly, at night, no one walks around the streets for entertainment or to enjoy the scenery, they would just drink and sing."
Dan Den

But many other people support initiatives to improve Vietnam’s nightlife scene for tourists. They believe such services should be better than what is currently offered on Bui Vien Street in Saigon or Ta Hien Street in Hanoi.

"Social evils are available at any time, they are not necessarily a result of night tourism. If Vietnam tourism is to develop, we must diversify our services. If all places close at 9 p.m., tourists will just go to Thailand or Malaysia."
Khoa Chau

"Drinking and shouting are mostly done by local people, not international tourists. If we are afraid of disturbances from night-time tourism services, we can develop special zones for them outside of residential areas. It is important to have a place for tourists to enjoy entertainment and spend money. Yesterday, my foreign friend complained that tourism services in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City were too low quality compared to Thailand and other countries in the area."

"We must have real changes, because I feel embarrassed taking my foreign friends to Bui Vien. It’s a mess when shops and bars place their tables and chairs all over the street. Sometimes there’s was no place for people to walk."
Con yeu

"In addition to eating and drinking services, from what we are all familiar with, we can also offer other programs such as squid fishing at night, water music festivals, fireworks shows, and traditional music performances. Most cities and provinces have squares which can host historical performances at night, without affecting the residents. In addition, we can play attention to the exhibition of books, photos, paintings, and antique models at museums. Besides, there should be dining venues, and night markets that charge reasonable prices. The night economy is not only about partying and drinking. Tourism is a big industry and there are many ways to impress visitors."

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
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