Nguyen Thien Nhan, Party chief Ho Chi Minh City, paid a visit to the recently opened Bui Vien Walking Street in the city’s downtown on Sunday night and got first-hand feedback from foreign visitors.
Bui Vien Street, in downtown District 1, is known among the expat community as the city’s ‘backpacker area’ famous for its night life.
The street was officially transformed into a pedestrian-only road on weekends on August 20, following a month-long trial banning vehicles that was embraced by locals and tourists alike.
On Sunday night, Nhan paid a surprise visit to Bui Vien to gather first-hand feedback from foreign visitors about their impression of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City.
The Party chief spoke in fluent English and German with foreigners, thanks to his education in Germany and the U.S.
The food streets were established to house former street vendors who were forced off the city’s sidewalks during a months-long crackdown headed by Doan Ngoc Hai, deputy chairman of District 1.
The city leader also spared time to take a stroll down Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street.
|Nguyen Thien Nhan (third right), Party chief of Ho Chi Minh City, takes a walk down Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street in District 1. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
According to the municipal Department of Tourism, Nhan expects to gain valuable first-hand experience from his survey trip across the notable downtown tourist areas, based on which future tourism projects will take shape.
The city has been putting great effort into rebuilding its tourism strategy to meet the ambitious target of welcoming seven million foreign visitors by the end of 2017.
Ho Chi Minh City received 5.2 million foreign holidaymakers in 2016 and experienced a 15 percent jump in tourist numbers during the first quarter of 2017.
|Nguyen Thien Nhan (fourth right), Party chief of Ho Chi Minh City, poses for a photo at the entrance to Bui Vien Walking Street in District 1. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|Nguyen Thien Nhan (standing), Party chief of Ho Chi Minh City, chats with foreign visitors on Bui Vien Walking Street in District 1. Photo: Tuoi Tre|