A street in central Saigon is poised to become a pedestrian zone, boosting the night economy
District 1 is asking local authorities to turn Le Loi, one of the city's busiest neighborhoods, into a walkable area for night tourism.
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In a proposal submitted to the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, the district authorities said that once the street was cleared of a construction site serving the city's first metro line, it should become a pedestrian zone.
The municipal tourism department agreed with District 1's proposal, saying it would be a new tourism product to attract more tourists and increase their spending.
The Department of Transportation recommended that the street be closed to traffic only on weekends.
The one kilometer long street is close to tourist attractions including Ben Thanh Market, Saigon Opera House and Nguyen Hue Walking Street. It used to house shopping centers, business establishments and restaurants.
However, it has been blocked since mid-2014 for the construction of Ben Thanh Station, one of the three underground hubs for Metro Line 1.
Ho Chi Minh City currently has three pedestrian zones, including one near the Quang Trung Monument in District 10.
The other two are in District 1. Bui Vien Street is closed to vehicles from 7:00 pm on weekends, while the central strip on Nguyen Hue Street has become a giant square closed to traffic.
In 2019, Ho Chi Minh City hosted more than 8.6 million foreign visitors, or almost half of the total number of foreign visitors to Vietnam.
This year, the city is visited by 3.5 million foreign tourists.