The Hanoi Tourism Association has backed opposition against the ban on beer and alcohol sale after 10 pm, saying this will affect tourism development.
International tourists in Hanoi
The ban was proposed for the law on alcohol harm prevention and was discussed at a National Assembly meeting session on May 23.
According to the proposal, the retail sale of alcoholic beverage will be banned from 10 pm to 8 am.
Dozens of bar and pub owners on Bui Vien Street, HCM City, jointly sent an opposition letter against the proposal.
In the letter, the owners said the ban would badly affect the local tourism since foreign tourists mostly go out to eat and drink late at night.
The ban will not only affect their businesses but may also ruin opportunities to introduce Vietnamese culinary culture to the world.
If the ban is applied, restaurants may sell alcoholic beverages illegally, affecting the consumers' health and tax revenues of the government.
Moreover, HCM City authorities already gave permission to let restaurants and bars on Bui Vien operate 24 hours a day.
Up to 65 facilities in Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, registered to join a pilot programme to operate until 2 am.
An owner on Ma May Street said they often opened until 3-4 am for foreign tourists. The ban is impractical since customers can buy drinks before 10 pm but use it afterwards.
Hoan Kiem District authorities also back the owners, saying that there used to be a proposal to ban karaoke facilities, however, thanks to good management, everything is under control and in order so the ban is not necessary.
Hanoi Tourism Association agreed that the ban will have an adverse impact on the accommodation, food and drink services. In the end, the tourism sector and locality economic development growth will suffer.
The Vietnam Beer Alcohol and Beverage Association has recommended abolishing the regulation that star-ranked hotels and tourist sites have to be licensed for selling alcohol products.
Foreign trade associations and business groups continue to raise concerns over Vietnam’s new draft alcohol and beer law, citing potentially-discriminatory regulations that may put consumers at higher risk of low-quality or fake products.
The rate of alcohol use in Vietnam is at an alarming level with the average Vietnamese consuming approximately 6.6 litres of alcoholic drinks on an annual basis, according to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son.