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Mar 17, 2021 / 11:57

Vietnam seaside towns to become key international tourism destinations

Vietnam has tremendous long-term potential to become a leading international destination like Thailand or Indonesia, according to local insiders.

Ho Tram and Long Hai seaside towns in the southern province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau, both have the potential to become leading tourism destinations in Southeast Asia, Mauro Gasparotti, Director of Savills Hotels APAC, said.

 Ho Tram and Long Hai have lured increasing attention of international operators in the past two years. Photo: Melia Ho Tram Beach Resort 

Potential destinations

Despite the ravishing Covid-19 in the world pandemic, Ho Tram and Long Hai, with long sandy beaches and nearby major infrastructure developments, were two of the few destinations whose occupancy and room rates remained around pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest “Espresso Shots” series of APAC market updates.

This also implies rising demand for second home properties as spending the weekend away from city has become more popular, and buyers increasingly grasp the value of getaway options near Ho Chi Minh City. As a result, villa prices have been moving up together with increased quality, and extent, of product offer. 

In the past two years, Ho Tram and Long Hai have lured increasing attention of international operators who are keen to establish brand presence, compared to their earlier “wait and see” approach to better understand destination potential, Mauro said.

Currently, the two destinations supply 2,700 rooms from 19 four-and-five-star projects. A further 7,600 rooms are expected from nine projects under construction, and five existing properties under phase expansions in the next three years. About 90% of these new resort developments are also supplying residential components such as condominiums or villas.

Ho Tram seaside town in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau has the potential to become leading tourism destination. Photo: Melia Ho Tram Beach Resort 

Manuel Ferriol, General Manager of Melia Ho Tram Beach Resort, told Hanoitimes that regional stakeholders need to invest in existing tourism attractions or develop new entertainment options to nurture ongoing international tourism appeal and achieve lengthier stay for resorts in the area.

“The required resources are readily available to develop activities and entertainments that will foster further demand,” he added.

Tanzanite international, the owner of the Melia Ho Tram Beach Resort, is developing the Hamptons Mall and the Hamptons Pier with facilities for leisure and sports activities, food & beverage, shopping, and entertainments integrated. It aims to develop a community that has most of the entertainment options for all visitors.  

“More innovative initiatives like this, together with increasing numbers of international branded properties, will drive area development further until Ho Tram becomes a key international tourism destination,” Ferriol said.

Improved infrastructure

Major transportation improvements are adding further optimism and belief to early investors, including the new highway system connecting southeastern with southwestern regions. 

In recent years, the infrastructure in Ba Ria - Vung Tau is continually and significantly improving. There are a number of key national projects. These include highways, airport, seaports, railway, and a 42m-expansion of Vung Tai - Xuyen Moc coastal route.

"Such key infrastructure will greatly enhance connectivity between the southern key economic region and Ho Tram," Ferriol said.

According to the government’s plan, Ba Ria-Vung Tau will extend the Long Thanh-Ben Luc Expressway. This improvement will connect the Western regions with Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Moreover, in the near future, the Cat Lai bridge will be a key link from Ho Chi Minh City to Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

In addition, the Bien Hoa - Long Thanh Airport - Vung Tau Expressway and a cross-sea tunnel will ultimately link Can Gio - Vung Tau to alleviate traffic congestion. 

The phase one Long Thanh International Airport with completion scheduled for 2025, is located approximately 40 km east of central Ho Chi Minh City and 1.5-hour drive from Ho Tram and Long Hai. Alongside serving domestic and international tourists, the airport being planned as a key entry point for enterprises and MICE travelers is a plus for Ho Tram and Long Hai. 

Better outlook

As with every new destination, early-stage developers need to be even more entrepreneurial by tapping into longer-term opportunities to ensure that others follow. Developing a critical mass of quality developments with premium supporting appeals will result in higher, more constant visitor flows, according to Savills Hotels.

“To establish the best possible market outlook, we encourage developers to examine industry trends that will align with the needs of new generations of travelers before developing more varied accommodation offers,” Mauro said.

These products require a certain understanding of concepts and ideas as well as cooperative collaboration to ensure feasibility and effective implementation. Local insiders remain optimistic about market potential and look forward to a far more positive year.