Hoan Kiem District People's Committee Vice Chairman Dinh Hong Phong said the pedestrianisation of the area around Hoan Kiem Lake would continue, based on the positive evidence so far.
Hoan Kiem District People's Committee Vice Chairman Dinh Hong Phong speaks at a meeting on November 14
During a meeting on November 14, Phong said the piloting of the pedestrian area from every Friday evening through to Sunday had proved popular.
He claimed the number of tourists in the pedestrian area had increased, though how tourists were identified compared to locals was unexplained. About 3,000 to 5,000 people visited the pedestrian streets during the day and 15,000 to 20,000 people at night. The number of visitors could be as high as 20,000 during special occasions. 268 shops serve these people.
The authorities also set up 23 security points to ensure public safety. There are 85 parking lots around the streets and locals living nearby are given entry cards or badges for cars.
Visitors at a pedestrian street near Hoan Kiem Lake
There are eight fixed art performance locations and the managers have collaborated with various artists to perform on the streets. Some of the most notable events featured tango dancers from Argentina and a classical music performance. Promotion programmes have also been held such as Quang Nam Heritage Festival and Tourism Promotion or H'Mong ethnic cultural space.
However, Phong said there were still several problems that need to be dealt with such as unregulated street vendors and a lack of commercial booths. Lack of parking remained an obvious problem, and he cited local residents charging for parking in front of their houses.
Phong suggested that Hoan Kiem People's Committee should work with the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to have more events to attract visitors and set up volunteer teams to raise public awareness about sanitary and etiquette rules, strictly deal with illegal parking lots and install more cameras. He also suggested bars in the Old Quarter should continue to remain open until 2 am on weekends./.