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Da Lat should pilot night-time economic models: educator

Da Lat should pilot night-time economic models: educator

Tuesday, October 24, 2023, 22:01 GMT+7
Da Lat should pilot night-time economic models: educator
The Da Lat night market in the namesake city under Lam Dong Province, located in Vietnam's Central Highlands region. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

Da Lat City should fearlessly pilot night-time economic models and associate them with tourism development, according to Phan Van Bong, vice-principal of the Da Lat College of Education.

The night-time economic development in Da Lat, a tourist city in Lam Dong Province of Vietnam's Central Higlands, remains an issue of concern as the famed resort city has yet to pay much attention to developing night-time services.

Vietnam has gradually recovered after the COVID-19 pandemic but the recovery pace remains slow. Boosting night-time economic activities will help accelerate the recovery process, Bong said.

The night-time economy will increase tourists’ spending.

“We should not imitate Thailand or Singapore but learn good lessons from them to develop an appropriate night-time economic model in Da Lat," Bong said.

“We can simply understand that tourism means traveling to new places for visiting, entertaining, shopping, and taking a rest there.

"The destinations should meet the demands of these tourists."

However, entertainment services are limited.

“My friends often joke that Da Lat closes at 10:00 pm, or Da Lat is boring, there is nothing to do after 10:00 pm,” he said.

Da Lat was even duller several decades ago as its streets were deserted and restaurants closed at 9:00 pm. Tourists found no entertainment venues, except for the Da Lat night market. 

Only a short road along Da Lat night market attracts thousands of visitors per night. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

Only a short road along the Da Lat night market attracts thousands of visitors per night. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

Other localities also have only night markets operating on a limited scale with non-diversified services.

Meanwhile, most travelers want to explore tourist destinations and experience entertainment services. Some even want to play hard after their hard-working days. 

Therefore, the closure of restaurants, bars, karaoke parlors, and entertainment venues after 10:00 pm means missing opportunities to generate larger revenue.

It is worse as tourists may not want to return.

A local grocery store opens around the clock with four family members working in shifts.

One of them said the area is home to many hotels. At night, travelers still buy beer, wine, and confectionery, among others.

“We meet their demands while earning income,” the family member said. 

This is a business perspective worth learning.

Night-time services are well developed in Cambodia and Singapore.

For example, natural landscapes are modest in Singapore but night-time activities are bustling there.

Tourists can sit on boats along the Singapore River to admire the city state and its architectural works at night.

They can also visit various kinds of bars and restaurants, enjoy musical fountain events and artistic programs, or enter complexes to play cards and go shopping.

In 2019, when COVID-19 had yet to hit Singapore, it yielded up to US$20.82 billion from tourism, with a large proportion definitely coming from night-time services.

The night-time economy is obviously important to the tourism development in Da Lat and Vietnam as well.

However, there are many obstacles to the night-time economic development.

In particular, local authorities are not confident in managing night-time activities and are afraid that these activities may affect social order and security.

Some localities have developed night-time activities but only catering services.

Residents worry that night-time activities may increase noise, thus affecting their lives.

Da Lat night market is crowded with tourists. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

The Da Lat night market is crowded with tourists. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

Da Lat should organize tours to ‘ghost houses,' which are abandoned buildings, in the city, along with other activities, while allowing local residents to join these tourism activities so that they can see the benefits of night-time economic activities and build the awareness of joining hands with the authorities to offer and manage night-time services.

In order to make the night-time economy the light of tourism in Da Lat and Lam Dong Province as a whole, local authorities and residents should change their thinking and pilot night-time economic models so that tourists will one day remember Da Lat as a ‘sleepless city,’ in addition to the ‘city of thousands of flowers,' the 'city of thousands of pines,' and the ‘heritage city.'

Da Lat should develop night-time economic activities in a scientific manner so that they will not affect other activities in the city and the local community.

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Phan Van Bong - Thanh Ha / Tuoi Tre News

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