Creative night owls from around the world are exchanging ideas on nightlife in the city this week at the second Montreal Night Summit.

According to a study by Creative Footprint, 22 per cent of tourists come to Montreal for its nightlife. Stakeholders say offering entertainment and culture all night long is an untapped market.

There are calls to hire a night mayor of Montreal, as Ottawa is doing, to create an action plan boosting the overnight economy.

Mirik Milan, the former night mayor of Amsterdam, said it's a valuable role.

"I was one of the first night mayors in the world, and a night mayor liaison between city government and the nighttime operators and also city residents," he said.

"We have a big scene of lofts and underground illegal events in Montreal, but it's always complicated to operate this way and it's not safe, so the push to extend after 3 a.m. is a matter of safety," said Mathieu Grondin, a leader in responsible nightlife lobbying.

Milan said extended hours for the city's clubs and bars means staggered departures – and not one big exodus at closing time.

"When all the patrons leave, they all leave at the same time. This is happening all over the world. By actually working together with the residents and with the nighttime operators, we managed to get down alcohol related-violence by 20 per cent and reports of nuisance by 28 per cent," he claimed.

Grondin said there's money to be made after midnight and closing down businesses at 3 a.m. means "leaving money on the table."

Nightlife isn't just bar hopping, but can be a culture crawl.

It also helps build communities, said $teven Ra$pa, co-founder of The Burning Man Festival.

"Providing access to culture and for people to socialize and create social bonds through shared experience, through joy and expression, through dance, music -- a whole range of human expression, really, which you can find in places like nightclubs but also in art and maker spaces." he said. "It's very important for the health of a city, for choice of lifestyle."

Starting this weekend and running until October, the outdoor terrasses in the Village can now stay open until 3 a.m. on weekends and every night throughout the Montreal Pride Festival in August.

The Montreal Night Summit takes place at the Phi Centre in Old Montreal from May 16 to 21.