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Jul 17, 2018 / 07:35

Vietnam appeals to foreign hotel giants

Many international hotel brand names have made their presence in Vietnam in the wake of the robust development of the country’s tourism sector and infrastructure.

The first half of this year alone witnessed many famous brands to come to Vietnam. Mandarin Oriental, which is one of the world’s luxury hotel groups, announced cooperation with Union Square Saigon to develop its first high-end hotel in Vietnam, which is named Mandarin Oriental Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City and due to open by 2019.
InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort in Danang city
InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort in Danang city
Best Western, one of the world’s largest hotel management groups, also signed an agreement with FLC on attaching Best Western Premier brand to FLC’s hotel now under construction in the central province of Quang Binh.
Aman Resorts, a premier resort chain, made forays into Vietnam through joining hands with local partner Novaland Group to put the Azerai luxury hotel chain into operation in May. 
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), the world’s leading hotel management brand and the owner of nine well-known hotel brands, including Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Staybridge, has also shaken hands with major Vietnamese developer Sungroup to become the manager of InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort in Danang city.
In addition, IHG has teamed up with local partner BIM Group to manage InterContinental Phu Quoc on the Pearl Island (Phu Quoc).
AccorHotels, another leading hotel management brand which manages nearly 4,000 hotels in 92 countries, including well-known brands like Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel, and Mgallery, now manages more than 20 hotels in Vietnam.
Wyndham Hotel Group which owns nearly 8,000 hotels in 73 countries, has been cooperating with PPC An Thinh Vietnam Infrastructure Investment and Development JSC to deploy Wyndham Soleil Danang, and Swiss-Belhotel & Resort in Cam Ranh city in the south-central coastal province of Khanh Hoa.
Tourism support
Mauro Gasparotti, director of Savills Hotels Asia Pacific, said that he observed a large increase of interest in the country from hotel operators in the past three years, following the expansion of the hospitality market.
According to the latest figures from Savills Vietnam, the number of international hotel operators has increased from 30 in 2010 to about 80 by the end of 2017.
The number of international operators is expected to grow further in the coming years along with the number of local management companies. Savills predicts over 30,000 hotel rooms would open next year.
“We are very positive about the growth of the sector and the attraction of international operators in Vietnam. It is also very interesting to see that operators themselves are launching new brands to target new types of clients, such as millennial or health-conscious travelers. Vietnam could be a market with great potential for them to introduce focused brands, as the categories of travelers in the country are very diverse,” Gasparotti said.
According to Stephen Burt, chairman of Travelodge Asia, which recently announced plans for its first property in the coastal city of Nha Trang scheduled to open in 2020, the group considers Vietnam a very important business destination. 
“It is a vibrant country that international travelers are discovering in ever-increasing numbers. It is also very encouraging to observe the level of government support for transport and social infrastructure that will further assist the hospitality industry,” Burt said.
According to experts, the local hotel market has been boosted mainly by the strong development of tourism. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Vietnam is placed sixth among the world’s 10 fastest growing tourism markets. 
After greeting 13 million international visitors last year, Vietnam’s tourism sector continued to welcome nearly eight million foreign visitors in the first half of this year, a 27.2% year-on-year increase.
The country targeted to receive 15-17 million foreign visitors and serve 78 million local tourists this year, generating VND620 trillion (US$26.95 billion).