Vietnam bolsters nighttime economy

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered the government to find ways to develop more nighttime activities and increase tourist spend, local media reports.

Nguyen has pointed to the Beijing model, in which shops and restaurants that are open from 8pm to 6am could receive a subsidy of $70,000 and areas which operate at least 12 hours straight a night get $700,000.

An industry expert, Nguyen Cong Hoan, deputy director of travel agency HanoiRedtours, told VnExpress International that tourists tend to spend more generously on entertainment and shopping at night, and thus a nighttime policy would be beneficial for the company. 

“Major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have night markets, but there is demand for more activities. The country needs more restaurants, malls and entertainment areas remaining open after midnight to attract tourists.”

The lack of recreational tourism, such as theme parks, shopping centers, and late-night shows are a reason why the rate of returning foreign tourists are low in comparison to Thailand and Singapore, he said. 

Other industry experts have also suggested night clubs, gaming zone, and karaoke clubs as a way to generate more revenue during the night. 

More nighttime activities have raised concerns however, with some linking a nighttime economy with drugs and prostitution.