Mekong Delta looks to awake night-time economy potential

Travel Guide

The Mekong Delta, a region known for its rich ecosystem, vibrant culture, and hospitable people, is now exploring the potential of its night-time economy. As the world embraces the trend of developing night-time entertainment in populous areas, including dining, boat tours, and shopping, the Mekong Delta sees this as an inevitable move to boost sustainable development and generate a new impulse for its national economy. In this article, we will delve into the concept of the night-time economy, its current status in the Mekong Delta, and the strategies to effectively capitalize on its advantages.

Understanding the Night-Time Economy

The night-time economy encompasses a range of activities, such as entertainment, tourism, culinary services, and shopping, that thrive during the evening and early morning hours. It is particularly prominent in urban and tourism-service areas, where people seek leisure and enjoyment after daytime activities. In the case of Vietnam, night-time economic activities primarily revolve around shopping, culinary services, and entertainment centers, mainly concentrated in major cities and well-developed tourism hotspots.

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The Potential of the Mekong Delta’s Night-Time Economy

The Mekong Delta possesses immense potential for developing its night-time economy, given its unique natural beauty, diverse cultural heritage, and welcoming locals. However, experts note that the region is still in the initial stages of exploring this potential, with many night-time products and services remaining limited in diversity. For example, some night markets and streets are yet to be fully developed, and the existing culinary spaces primarily focus on selling food rather than providing a comprehensive cultural experience.

Nurturing the Night-Time Economy in the Mekong Delta

To unlock the full potential of the night-time economy in the Mekong Delta, localities need to embrace comprehensive development plans that capitalize on the region’s distinct advantages. Key steps include:

1. Enhancing Infrastructure

A crucial aspect of developing the night-time economy is building robust and comprehensive transport infrastructure. This will enable smoother access to various entertainment and tourism spots, making it easier for visitors to explore the region’s offerings during the night.

2. Implementing Pilot Mechanisms and Incentives

To attract investments and promote night-time economic activities, local authorities should consider implementing pilot mechanisms and offering incentives to businesses. These measures can help create a favorable environment for the growth of night-time services and experiences.

3. Tailoring Activities to Local Demands

Each locality in the Mekong Delta should carefully assess its unique advantages and consider the preferences and demands of both local residents and tourists. By customizing night-time activities to suit these preferences, they can attract more visitors and encourage them to prolong their stay and spend more.

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Case Studies: Can Tho and Ca Mau

To provide real-world examples, let’s look at two localities in the Mekong Delta that have already taken steps towards developing their night-time economies:

Can Tho

The People’s Committee of Can Tho has released a trial plan for night-time economy development in the Ninh Kieu District, a prominent tourist area. The plan includes extending the hours for night-time entertainment, food, shopping, and tourism activities until 6 a.m. The committee will also pilot various models such as the Ninh Kieu pedestrian street, the Ninh Kieu night market, and the Can Tho old market, while connecting these attractions with river tourism boats operating until 6 a.m.

Ca Mau

The People’s Committee of Ca Mau province has approved a night-time economy development plan, aiming to expand services until midnight at selected tourist sites in the short term. Based on this pilot, they will consider extending the night-time economy to Song Doc towns, Nam Can town, Dat Mui commune, and other areas with favorable conditions.


The Mekong Delta’s night-time economy has the potential to become a driving force for sustainable development in the region. By capitalizing on its natural beauty, cultural heritage, and the enthusiasm of its people, the Mekong Delta can create memorable and immersive experiences for both locals and tourists alike. However, this journey requires careful planning, innovative strategies, and collaboration among local authorities, businesses, and communities. As the region awakens its night-time economy, it will open up new opportunities for growth and prosperity.


1. What is the night-time economy?

The night-time economy refers to a range of economic activities, including entertainment, tourism, culinary services, and shopping, that thrive during the evening and early morning hours.

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2. Why is developing the night-time economy important?

Developing the night-time economy can maximize the use of resources that are not fully utilized during the day, contributing to economic growth and creating new opportunities.

3. What are the challenges in developing the night-time economy in the Mekong Delta?

Some challenges include limited diversity of night-time products and services, inadequate connectivity between different attractions, and the need to offer authentic cultural experiences.

4. How can localities in the Mekong Delta boost their night-time economies?

Localities can enhance infrastructure, implement pilot mechanisms and incentives, and tailor activities to suit the preferences of both residents and tourists.

5. Which Mekong Delta localities are already working on their night-time economies?

Can Tho and Ca Mau are two examples of localities in the Mekong Delta that have started implementing plans to develop their night-time economies.