The association argues the country would attract more tourists if opening hours for evening entertainment and dining are extended.

Local media said if the proposal gains approval, nightclubs, bars and restaurants could remain open until 0200. Some provinces allow late closing, but the association wants a national ruling on opening hours.

Currently, only nightclubs, bars and restaurants in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem District are allowed to open until 0200 from Friday to Sunday. The association wants the rule applied over the entire week.

Meanwhile a nationwide ruling states that places offering live performances, dance clubs and karaoke bars can only operate from 0800 to 2400 (midnight), while Internet cafes can open from 0800 to 2200.

Vietnam National Administration of Tourism head, Nguyen Van Tuan, was quoted saying that the midnight closing cuts tourism earnings and makes it difficult for entertainment spots to gain an acceptable return on investment.

“The administration supports the Vietnam Tourism Association’s proposal… but there is a need for policies and guidelines to manage recreational services especially those permitted to operate until 0200.”

Khanh Hoa Province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism director, Nguyen Khac Ha, agreed entertainment establishments can remain open to 0200.

However, he added that bars and night clubs near residential areas had to ensure they didn’t disturb neighbours.

Lam Dong Province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism deputy director, Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc, claimed longer opening hours should be applied to tourism locations, which attract a large number of foreign holiday makers.

For January to April, the country welcomed 4,284,130 international travellers increasing 30.3% over the same period last year.

Vietnam’s tourism sector is targeting 11.5 million international arrivals and 66 million domestic trips in 2017 generating an estimated USD20.3 billion in revenue.

By 2020, the country forecasts 17 to 20 million international visits and 82 million domestic trips that will contribute and estimated 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Revenue from tourism will reach USD35 billion.

Last year, the country recorded 10,012,735 international tourist arrivals up 26.0% over 2015.

By Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit - TTR Weekly - May 22, 2017