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Tony Milton MRICS

BSc (Hons) Est Man

Fast Facts

Date : Thursday, 21 January 2010
Category : Tourism

Chronological Order : - Scroll to bottom for latest info


010609-Quang Nam said the number of foreign visitors who stayed in hotels and resorts there fell 10% year-on-year while the number of domestic guests increased 46°% in January-May period. "The growth in revenue is obviously lower than last year's period but many tour operators and hoteliers have reported that they are still faring well.” The tourism department of Binh Thuan has reported good result in attracting international visitors in the hard situation. The province has attracted 134,000 visitors during the first 5 months, up 36% compared to the same period of last year. SGT

020609-Dalat City's Hung Vuong Hotel has been upgraded to a 3 stars taking to 12 the number of 3-5 star hotels in the city. SGT

280509-Binh Thuan said that about 120-130 tourism projects would not go ahead due to a lack of locations even though most were granted investment licences before 2008. Out of the 409 pro¬jects already licenced, worth nearly $281 million, 194 projects or 47% have yet to get off the ground. In Phan Thiet City, one of the country's largest tourism hub, 219 projects aiming to use more than 3,500 hectares were given the green light, but 79 of them have failed to be implemented. The province's Bac Binh district's 35 projects also lay dormant, while only 9 of 89 projects in Ham Thuan Nam district have been carried out. This situation continues to repeat itself throughout the region. The already approved 53 projects in La Gi town and Ham Tan district are as ill-fated as others found in the province. One-third of the stalled developments were in Ham Thuan Nam district's Ke Ga and black sand areas, while the remain¬der were scattered in coastal areas which lacked adequate infrastruc¬ture. Ke Ga was earmarked for tourism development but a pending review of a planned deep water port had put 11 tourism projects on the backburner. Some 30 tourism development projects registered in 2003-2004 period have not been implemented. "They have to wait until the exploration and exploitation of black sand is complete." VIR

250509- Continuing difficulties with Vietnam's visa issuance process are putting the nation at a disadvantage. “It is unanimous that the largest obstacle to estab¬lishing Vietnam as a global destination is its application, processing and approval of visas to enter the country. Visas are the first com¬plaint of international leisure and business travellers into Vietnam." According to the report, up to 10% of Viet¬nam's potential tourism GDP was lost, equivalent to $350 million, as well as an additional $35 mil¬lion in potential VAT revenues, due to ineffi¬ciencies in Vietnam's visa regime and the uncertainties faced by would-be visitors when attempting to apply for entry into Vietnam. "Please note that the aforementioned $350 million does not include the potential FDI that has been shifted away from Vietnam due to the complex¬ities and difficulties of the visa process. This number could be in the billions." Due to the processing time that it takes for individ¬uals to acquire visas, last ¬minute travel to Vietnam is not an option and has been replaced by weekend trips to Phuket, Bali, Macao and Sin¬gapore. VIR

150609-About 1/3rd or 50 out of the 166 golf courses under development or approved should be cancelled as golf course development in Vietnam is threatening its agricultural land according to the Minister of the MPI. Under the proposals of MPI, an 18-hole course would be licensed in most cases if it covered less than 100 hectares of land. SGT

170609-The Grant Thornton annual Hotel Survey 2009 shows that some are running around at 40% and lower because of low season. The low oc¬cupancy this year could pull the hotel room occu¬pancy for all of 2009 even lower than 2008 when the average occupancy rate for 5 star properties was only 56.9%, as against 65.7% in 2007. The overall occupancy rate for high-end hotels across all categories was 59.8%, down 9.6% compared to 2007. The average occupancy rates across high-end hotels in Vietnam dipped 14.2% in 2008 to their lowest in the past 4 years. Despite the fall in room occupancy the survey shows average hotel room rates across all categories picked up by 9.6% in 2008 from 2007, or to USD$114 from USD$104. The room rate at 5 star hotels averaged US$195 per night in 2008. In 2008 around 4.25 million international tourists visited, up a mere 0.6% on 2008 and much lower than the 12-17% industry forecasts released early that year. But hotels are not rushing to slash rates because they found it difficult and long to raise prices back again once the market improved as they had learned much from the past during the 1997/98 regional financial crisis. The current room rates at 4-5 star hotels in HCMC range from USD$95 to nearly USD$200, which some hoteliers said are lower than the same period last year. There are currently some 199No. 3 star, 88No. 4 star and 41No. 5 star hotels in Vietnam with a combined room number of 32,000. The VNAT has forecast that an addi¬tional 15,000 to 20,000 hotel rooms will be needed to meet the dual target of 5-6 million international travelers and up to 25 million domestic tourists. SGT

160609-Allezboo Beach Resort and Spa said interna¬tional bookings at properties in Mui Ne this summer could tumble by as much as 30% from the same period in 2008 mainly due to the decline in Russian arrivals. Reliable sources say guests currently occupied just a little higher than 40% of the rooms at certain 4 & 5 star hotels here. Allezboo estimated that the rate at 4 star resorts in Mui Ne at US$65-95 per night, or down 10-15% year-on-year. SGT

180609-Binh Thuan has licensed 10 tourist service projects in the 1st Half of 2009. SGT

250609-SaigonTourist Holding Co yesterday disclosed a major plan to branch out to key for¬eign markets and at the same time invest heavily in new developments on the home front. "We will buy around five hotels in foreign coun¬tries and continue to build new ho¬tels across the country."
The company is in talks over the acquisition of a hotel in the US in a move to own a first property abroad. "We expect to complete the deal later this year." If the deal is successful, it will pave the way for Saigontourist to buy more hotels abroad, particularly Moscow, Tokyo, Berlin and Hong Kong. SaigonTourist and its partners are investing more than US$1 billion in developments in HCMC and elsewhere in Vietnam. This investment is going to further de¬velop the Saigon Exhibition and Con-vention Center in HCMC's District 7, and this facility will be able to accom¬modate 40,000 visitors a day when fully completed in 2012. Saigontourist is also preparing to build a new 40 storey, 5-star hotel Kim Do and the extended Majestic prop¬erty with a new 30-story building in. District 1, a complex comprising of 2,300-2,500 rooms in District 2 and an ¬ecotourism area in District 9. Saigontourist has almost realized revenue of US$500 million that the company targeted for 2010. The new yet ambitious target is US$1 billion and the company is expected to achieve it by 2015 at the latest. In 2008 the company served around 1.5 million local and foreign tourists with total revenue of nearly VND7.5 trillion / $420.6m. Most of Saigontourist's revenue came from international visi¬tors but the company is looking to 50:50 in revenue from local and inter¬national guests in the next 10 years. SGT

290609- Despite the negative impact of the global financial crisis and recession, Viet Nam was ranked 4th by the World Travel Coun¬cil in the list of countries with high growth in the tourism industry. The national tourism industry accounted for 13.6% of the country's GDP growth in 2008. VNN

290609-Da Nang received 1 million do¬mestic tourists in 2008 and the number of cruise ships docking at the Da Nang Port in¬creased from 26 to 57 in the last 2 years. SGT

290609-The Nam Hai beach resort in Quang Nam Prov¬ince was one of the first re¬sorts to develop the villa for sale busi¬ness and prices have tripled in 5 years. The Fusion Alya project in Da Nang has 19 pool-view villas, 11 sea-view villas and 57 apart¬ments which are being sold from $95,000-$280,000 / unit but the Vegas Beach Club Resort, owned by the Magnum group, failed to sell villas to secondary investors at the asking price of $175,000 / unit. The re¬sort was later sold to new investor Kingdom Hotel Investments. Last year, Kingdom Ho¬tel Investments also failed to attract buyers with prices ranging from $285,000-$1 million / unit. VNN

290609-Hotels across the nation have taken a major hit to their profits. A remarkable 10% decrease in net profits for 50No. 3-5 star hotels and resorts across Vietnam in 2008 was reported. Contribu-tions from room sales remained unchanged from 2007 to 2008, at about 64%, while room expenses increased by 19% as a percentage of room revenues. There was a slight 2% decrease in food and bev-erage sales, while food and beverage expens¬es increased by 13% as a percentage of food and beverage revenues. The hotel survey also showed significant changes among different regions in 2008. Hanoi, Hoi An, Danang and Phan Thiet experienced a decline in room rates, with a 31% drop in Hoi An and Danang during 2008. However, room rates in Ho Chi Minh City and Dalat managed to stay steady or increase during this period. The average room rate was highest at $195.83 for 5 star hotels and lowest at $44.50 for 3 star hotels. Overall, room rates across all hotels in all regions increased by 9% in 2008, while average occupancy rates fell 14% in 2008 to their lowest levels in the past 4 years. The average occupancy rate for 4 star hotels was 62%, slightly higher than 61% in 5 star and 57% in 3 star hotels. According to the survey, an 8% increase in domestic guests checking into top-end hotels and resorts throughout Viet¬nam also marked a change of focus. Unlike 2007 when Vietnamese made up only 12% of total guests, they contributed more than a 1/5th of all customers in 2008. Addi¬tionally, Asian guests' accounted for 37% of total guests, which saw the market increase by 7%. compared with 2007 While European guests still made up more than a 1/3rd of total guests, the number was on a slight downturn of 4% compares with the previous year. Oceania, North Amer¬ica and other countries shared the rest of the market, which as a whole was reduced by 5% in 2008 when compared to 2007. Direct reservations and bookings via travel agents or tour operator were more popular than others and made up 45% & 31% respectively dur¬ing 2008 with on-line bookings at 11%. The number of leisure travellers account¬ed for 56% of total guests, with tour groups and individual tourists representing 25% & 25%, respectively. VIR

270609-Que Huong Liberty JSC manages 9 hotels and restaurants including Que Huong Liberty 1, 2, 3, 4 & Metro¬pole hotels, and Van Canh, A Dong and G02 restaurants. It achieved a revenue of $13.52m or an increase of 29.2% compared with 2007, and after tax profit was $5.44m in 2008 or a growth rate of 82.4%. Profit from its main business activities increased 45.6%. In the 2005-2008 period, average revenue grew by 35.3%. The company has approved investment projects for 2009 to 2012 with the aim of turning Que Huong Liberty into one of the top hospitality and tourism brands in Vietnam. To carry out this plan, the company is going to operate the new 3 star Que Huong Liberty 6 Hotel, with a capacity of 114 roomsand expand Que Huong Liberty 4 Hotel with 14 new rooms, complete the renovation and upgrade of the Metropole to 4 stars with 350 rooms and be¬gin upgrading Que Huong Liberty 1 Hotel to 4 stars with 280 rooms. In addition, by 2012 Que Huong Liberty will operate 955No. 3-4 star rooms or a 3 ¬fold increase.

060709-SacomReal launched the sale of 124 villa land lots of the re¬sort project Casallwa Hills in Binh Thann Province’s Ham Tan with land prices start from $195sqm at the 200ha develop¬ment, which is the largest seaside re¬sort project to date including a resort area, hotels, a 30ha natural lake with a boat club, 50ha of primitive forest, camping areas, a 18-hole golf course and shopping spaces. The project will be designed by well known American firm WATG and managed by the Marriott Group. Meanwhile, VinaCapital’s 30 ocean view villas at Da Nang Resort will range between US$320,000-$625,000 for villas of 2-4 bedrooms on land lots with a minimum size of 527sqm. The second house con¬cept is not a primary home. It is typically located in a beach front resort or in the mountains in a managed community, and can be leased for additional income, or for future retirement. This second house mar¬ket will mainly be for Viet¬namese citizens as current regulations do not make it easy for foreigners to acquire a house here, as in Viet Nam non resident foreign indi-viduals and entities are not allowed to purchase any type of property. Furthermore, apartments in the second house market in Viet Nam are more expensive than in re¬gional markets eg 1sqm for a 2 bedroom unit of 110sqm at the Indochina Land Hyatt Re¬gency Danang Residence is priced from $2,263 whereas similar prices start at $1,000 in Malaysia's Penang or $1,282 in Thailand's Phuket. VNN

090709-Hoteliers and foreign-local JV tour operators have welcomed 2 new decisions from the Government that allow 4 & 5 hotels to remain open until 2 am and tour operators to arrange outbound tours. Deputy PM agreed to a plan of the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism to carry out activities to help the sector develop in times of recession. He has approved the ministry to select a list of the 4 & 5 star hotels to pilot some entertainment services until 2 am. The pilot activity will run to the end of 2010. The Deputy Prime Minister also agreed to allow foreign-local joint venture tour operators to arrange outbound tours for Vietnamese and foreigners who live and work in the country. The current rules permit these firms to arrange inbound tours for foreigners in Vietnam. The director of the 4 star Continental said that the hotel had waited a long time for the decision. "The old ban on all activities at entertainment venues after midnight made guests unhappy.” SGT

090709-Among the total $64 bil¬lion of foreign direct invest¬ment funnelled into Vietnam last year, a large amount of capital went into building second homes at golf and resorts areas in Halong Bay, northern Quang Ninh province and Ba Ria-Vung Tau province's Ho Tram. There are 3 golf and 3 resorts projects under construction in the north, a total of 970 villas and 566 condos. In the centre, there are 4 golf and 18 resort projects under construction, with 1,085 villas and 511 condos. The south has the highest with 8 golf and 17 resort projects. There will be 174 condos, 196 villas and 124 plots of land for villas ready for sale this year, compared with 1,880 villas, which opened for sale in 2008. VIR

170709-Korea Inv & Dev Co Ltd’s $90m 10,800sqm condo project Blooming Tower Danang of 2No. 37 floor towers with 671 luxury apartments with areas ranging from 50-202sqm in the new urban town Da Phuoc, near the ongoing construction cable-stayed bridge Thuan Phuoc crossing the Han River is selling 160 apart¬ments at prices starting from US$1,500-US$1,620/sqm. In the 1st Phase the company sold 134 apartments at prices rang¬ing from US$1,200-US$1,560/sqm. The buildings overlook the sea, the Han River, Ba Na Mountain, Son Tra Peninsula and Danang City. The condo project is also inclusive of other facilities such as commercial section, swimming pool, spa, fitness center, mini golf course, restaurant and conference room. VNN

210709-Over 40,000 visitors including 2,000 international ones, have flocked to Cham Islet in Quang Nam this year – a 3 fold increase on last year, as the number of tourists has increased sharply after UNESCO recognized it as a world biosphere reserve. SGT

210709-There are currently 31No. 5 star hotels with nearly 8,200 rooms and 90No. 4 star hotels with nearly 11,000 rooms in the country, according to a report by the Hotel Depart¬ment in 2008. This combined number com¬pares poorly to the country's 10,400 tourist accommodations in total with over 207,000 rooms. SGT

220709-Vietnam is spending a humble $1.4m on promoting tourism in 2007 while Thailand announced in January an additional $140m towards tourism promotion following the Bangkok airport protest. This will be used to supplement its existing 2009 promotional budget of $80m. Malaysia has designated $180m for its memorable “Truly Asia” campaign. While other nations have their own attractive songs to promote tourism Vietnam does not. Amid the economic crisis these markets have cooprated with airlines, chains of restaurants and shopping centres to design a shared tourism strategy. VIR

270709-Tourism prop¬erty projects around the country in the next 2-3 years will provide the market with 970 villas and 565 condos in the northern prov¬inces and 1,085 villas and 510 condos in the central region, and 5,100 villas in the southern provinces, that include the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa with 174 condos and 27 villas, Ho Tram Sanctuary with 70 villas, Best Western Nha Trang with 240 condos, Evason Hideaway Con Dao with 35 villas and the complex Sea Links in Mui Ne, Phan Thiet City. Some 120 land plots at Casale Hills in Binh Thuan are as large as 575 square meters, are on offer with prices starting from VND3.5m/$197sqm ie $24-112k/plot. The project is being developed on 200 hectares with different sec¬tions, including 350 villas, four re¬sorts and an 18-hole golf course. SGT

120809-Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts operates 2 Sheraton hotels in Vietnam, the Sheraton Hanoi Hotel with 299 rooms and the Sheraton Sai¬gon Hotel & Towers with 472 rooms. Starwood has 3 hotels and resorts under construction, the Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel & Spa with 284 rooms, the Sheraton Hoi An Resort & Spa with 242 rooms and The Westin Resort & Spa, Cam Ranh with 330 rooms. SGT

120809-Binh Thuan welcomed 1.3 million tourists in the first 7 months, and obtained $56.1m in revenue. These fig¬ures represent year-on-year growth rates of 12% and 32%, respectively. Lien said around 187,000 visitors were foreigners, up 30%, while the number of local travelers was 10% higher. The main source markets of the province's inbound tourism are Russia, Germany, Sweden, South Korea, and France. During the period, hotels and resorts in Binh Thuan enjoyed an average room occupancy rate of around 60%, largely owing to local tourists flocking to the resort city during the summer vacation. The coastal province has around 130 hotels and resorts. The province expects to welcome 2.2 million tour¬ists in 2009 compared to 2008’s figure of around 2 million. SGT

200809-Lam Dong has licensed more than 260 tourism projects, with 30% currently under progress. SGT

290809-VinaCapital introduced 3 model villas at The Ocean Villas which stretches along Non Nuoc Beach in Ngu Hanh Son in Danang covering 21he and comprising 115 luxury beach villas with 2-5 bedrooms and 500-1,400sqm from $375-$840k per unit. All villas face the beach, water channels and a green landscape of an environment friendly resort setting. The Ocean Villas is the 1st resi-dential component of Danang Beach Resort which includes a 5 star hotel, 2No 18 hole golf courses, a marina, a cultural centre and almost 400 luxury villas. SGT

060909-The tourism property market - including the develop¬ment of coastal resorts and villas - is primed to explode in the near future, says the head of the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA). The country's natural environ¬ment, including a long coastline and fine beaches, promised a strong development. VNN

200809-Unlike a primary home, specif¬ic characteristics permit second homes to generate additional income for owners through a rental program besides functioning as ac¬commodations for holidaymakers. Meanwhile other investors expect a certain margin when reselling the property. Nam bought sev¬eral properties at the Hyatt Regency Da¬nang Resort and Spa, which covers 20 hectares on the beach near Ngu Hanh Son Mountains and compris¬es 174 luxury condominiums, 27 luxury villas and 200 hotel rooms and 'suites. Rather than wooing buyers to in¬vest their money in holiday retreats, many project developers entice po¬tential local buyers to benefit from a freehold tenure, while foreign buyers can purchase offshore own¬ership rights which give them real access to the Vietnamese property market. In addition, buyers can take part in a rental program to recover their investments. Nam explained his investment saying he would have to pay some US$300,000 for a 115sqm @$2,600/sqm apartment in the Hyatt project. That amount is the same as for buying a luxury apartment in HCM City. However, a five-star standard apartment has more chance of earning a profit for the investor than a normal apartment in a city. Nam calculated his expected benefit margin, saying that the management company will lease his property at the price of US$500 per night. Supposing an occupan¬cy rate of around 65% to 70% per month, then his gross rent will be around US$10,500 per month. Af¬ter subtracting 50% for manage¬ment services, he will get some US$5,000 per month. In the next two to three years, tourism prop¬erty projects around the coun¬try will provide the market with 970 villas and 565 condos in the northern provinces, 1,085 villas and 510 condos in the central re¬gion and 5,100 villas in the south¬ern provinces.

Some tourism projects : -
Name & location Properties Developer
Ocean Villas (Danang) 193 villas VinaCapital
Casale Hills (Binh Thuan) 350 villas Saigon-Ham Tan Tourism
Hyatt Regency (Danang) 174 condos, 27 villas Indochina Land
Evason Hideaway (Con Dao) 51 villas Indochina Land
Ho Tram Sanctuary (Vung Tau) 67 villas Refico
Best Western (Nha Trang) 238 condos Hai Van Nam
Sea Links (Phan Thiet) 300 villas Rang Dong Corp.
La Vallee de Dalat (Dalat) 6 villas Khanh Tam Development
Mui Ne Domain (Phan Thiet) 140 villas Minh Thanh Construction

140909-The Hoa Hai Ward in Da Nang's Ngu Hanh Son District is now home to 12 licenced resort projects with a total of 50,000 guest rooms, but many remain on paper. SGT

170909-Chi Thanh the developer of Urban Zone No 6, Dien Nam Dien Ngoc NUA covering 56.6 hectare is selling villas at the $18.5m Bong Lai luxury villa complex over 26 hectares. Initially 15 luxury villas in European-Asian architectural styles, combined with extensive landscaping with uninterrupted views and rolling vistas, covering from 900-1,200sqm each complete fixtures and fittings and a private swimming pool, 3 high¬ quality restaurants, and 2 international-standard tennis courts, range from US$1.2-$2m with the highest costing $3 million. VNN

220909-About 80% of buyers of beach resort holiday homes second homes at from Hanoi; 10% from HCMC & 10% Viet Kieu. VREA conference.

260909-The total land area allo¬cated for 145 golf courses nationwide comes to over 52,700ha. This means that one golf course occupies an average area of more than 300ha of land. Over 10,000ha of agricultural land, including 2,900ha of rice growing land have been converted to build golf courses. This is a huge fig¬ure. The new process of granting licenses to golf course projects must be strictly fol¬lowed. It is essential to satisfy 2 basic criteria when building a golf course: 1st the total area of a golf course maybe 100ha, or up to 110ha in areas with many lakes, ponds and mountains; 2nd a golf course is only permitted to take at most 10ha of low efficiency rice growing area and must satisfy environmental pro¬tection conditions. Golf courses that were pre¬viously licensed to develop land exceeding the 100ha plus 10% quota must cut down the excess in ac¬cordance with the new cri¬teria. Based on the criteria above, the ministry has re¬jected 7 out of 19 golf courses which were already licensed by local authorities in northern midland and mountainous areas. In the Hong (Red) River Delta, only 12 golf courses remain out of 33 thal previously existed, and only 41 out of 57 remain in the northern central region and central coastal provinces. In Tay Nguydn (Central High¬lands) and south-east Viet Nam, 11 out of 13, and 26 out of 37 golf courses re¬main, respectively. VNN

280909-Vietnam had one of the smallest visitor arrival rates per capita in the re¬gion in 2008 at 0.05, compared to 0.217 for Thailand and 2.087 for Singapore, according to the Lon¬don-based hotel index provider STR Global. VNN

280909-The 5 star hotels (excluding luxury hotels) have cut rates by 13% from the 1st Quarter to an average of US$118 and occupancy has fallen by 14% to 45% in HCMC. The international luxury hotel segment, at $198, had significantly higher room rates than other 5 ¬star hotels but it was the segment hardest hit, with rates plunging 14% in the 2nd Quarter. Occupancy rose from 44% to 47%. The 4 star segment saw rates falling a mere 4% to $80 but the highest decrease in occupancy of all segments, plunging from 75% to 47%. Corporations like Saigontourist and Hanoitourist own the largest, hotel chains in the country. The Government retains an in¬terest in more than 40% of HCMC 3 star hotels, 60% of 4 star, and 30% of 5 star hotels. VNN

011009-Foreign investment into Vietnam's tourism industry has largely been focused on the development of accommodations like hotels and resorts, while the area of entertainment services and supporting services are not properly attended to according to the deputy director of the Vietnam Institute for Tourism Development Research. Viet¬nam's hospitality sector is facing an imbal¬ance but foreign investors are still registering for more hotels and tourism real estate projects while the industry also needs entertainment services to cater to travelers. "Up to 2008, over 80% of the total 307 FDI projects in the tourism industry were hotel projects." The situation does not mean that foreign investors are not in¬terested in such kinds of projects. One of the main reason is that "we are not open enough in the investment flow into tourism and en¬tertainment services.” He mentioned the conditional service of casino as an example. Many big investors have pledged to invest billions of dollars in complexes but such projects have stam¬mered because the Government still did not have a clear policy about the service. SGT

011009-The central coast province of Binh Thuan has welcomed 1.7m so far this year, increasing 9.95% year-on-year and gaining 74.52% of the year's target. The total includes nearly 200,000 foreigners, up 30.6% year-on-year and 92.19% of the year's target. Foreign tourists came from Russia (22.6%), Germany (15.53%), the U.S. (6.65%), France (6.38%), Sweden(6.24%), SouthKorea(5.84%), Australia (4.76%), the Netherlands (3.19%), China (3.08%), the U.K. (2.9%) and Switzerland (2.52%). SGT

091009-The Vitenam Institure for Tourism Development Research said the sector was facing an imbalance. Foreign investors are regitering for more hotels and tourism real estate projects while the industry needs entertainment serivces to cater to travellers. “Up to 2008 over 80% of the total 307 FDI project in the tourism industry were hotel projects.” SGTW

101009-The 4 star Best Western Muong Thanh Hotel with 20 storeys and 168 hotel rooms located in Linh Dam 7km south of Ha Noi opened and also includes a 200 guest banqueting hall and a unique Spa Savasana. VNN

141009-Galileo Investment Group has been licensed by Phu Yen to establish the 1st Phase of the Creative City project worth about US$1.7 billion and cov¬ering about 1,500 hectares in the province. SGT

201009-HCMC has asked 4 lessees of the land plot at 8-12 Le Duan Street in District 1 to end their leasing contracts so the HCMC House Management & Trading Co to develop a 5 star hotel. SGT

211009-The promotion program named One Day at Five Star Hotels offering a discount of around 50% for local guests at luxury hotels, will end as results are poorer than expected. The GD of the 5 star Majestic hotel said room tariffs under US$100 are receiving local guests, while other hotels reported no or very few bookings. The special program was launched by the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism in cooperation with the HCMC Hotel Society. The department has called on 5 star hotels in the city to discount around half the official price to domestic guests with an aim to make such guests familiar with luxury services and increase room occupancyin the hotels. Some 9 of 13No. 5 star hotels in HCMC registered. The Majestic had 18 Vietnamese to stay at the hotel. The Renaissance Riverside Saigon hotel has 2 bookings onlywhile the Rex has received nothing. SGT

221009-The Hanoi hotel sector as been suffering from a slump in room rates and declining occupancy levels since late 2008. Many airlines have increased their routes both internationally and internally to Hanoi, boosting accessibili¬ty. Hanoi currently has approximately 8,000 hotel rooms of 3-5 star standard. It has a total of 12No. 5 star and 9No. 4 star hotels. There are currently 4 hotel projects in the city sched¬uled for completion by the end of 2009 and 3 to be com¬pleted in 2010. Those include the 560 ¬room Hanoi Plaza Hotel, 350¬ room Crowne Plaza Hotel, the 383 room Intercontinental Landmark hotel and the 300¬ room Times Square hotel. VIR

201009-According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) as of September, Vietnam had attracted $12.54 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI), a decrease of 78.6% against 2008. However, the hotel and restaurant sectors had received a record $4.57 billion, followed by the general real estate sector with $3.65 billion, and process¬ing and manufacturing with $2.53 billion. The country has recorded a series of hos¬pitality, leisure and second-home projects getting off the ground recently, such as Ba Ria-Vung Tau province's Sanctuary Ho Tram, Ho Tram Strip and Crown Land Long Hai, Binh Thuan province's Casalle Hills, Ocean Vista and Mui Ne Domaine, Khanh Hoa province's Best Western Nha Trang Plaza, Danang's Hyatt Regency Danang Resort & Spa, Ocean Villas, Olalani Resort & Condotel, Haiphong's Cai Gia-Cat Ba and Quang Ninh province's Long Chau Villas & Residences. Hanoi is expected to gain 1,850 new rooms and Ho Chi Minh City 1,200 rooms by 2012. The occupancy levels for 4 & 5 ¬star hotels in Vietnam declined from 77% to 55% between June 2007 and June 2009. The declines in Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines were 83%-72%, 69%-52% and 70%-64%. VIR

271009-Binh Thuan said although the global economic turmoil and the uncertainty in the local market had hurt tourism the province still saw improvement with revenue in January to September up 32% yoy. According to statistics of the provincial department of culture, sports and tourism, the resort city received some 1.64 million visitors in the first 9 months of this year, up 10% over the same period 2008. Intemational visitors increased 32% with 187,000 travelers, mostly from Russia, Germany, France, the United States, Korea and China. The increase in visitors meant an average occupancy of 57% for hotels and resorts in the province. Longer average stays contributed significantly to provincial tourism revenue in the period. Binh Thuan has 413 tourism projects with 137 of them opera¬tional with 5,700 hotel and resort rooms. In Jan-Sep, Binh Thuan approved 35 new projects and re¬voked licenses from 26 slow proj¬ects, according to the department. The province tar-geted 2.2 million visitors this year, in which international arrivals would account for 10%, andrevenue 15% more than last year. SGT

301009-VNAT said the country now has 32No. 5 star hotels; 92No. 4 star facilities; and 178No. 3 star hotels. SGT

251009-Ninh Thuan currently has less than 10 resorts whereas neighbouiring Binh Thuan has over 400 out of 600 projects for building urban zones and trousim services. VIR

171109-Hong Hac Dai Lai JSC, owner of the Flamingo Dai Lai Resort project, has put 30 land plots for villas with areas ranging between 300-700sqm on sale at a price of over VND7m / $392sqm. The project worth about VND2tr / $112m and covering 123 hectares in Vinh Phuc Province's Phuc Yen District will include a high¬class resort, a villa area and other facilities. SGT

231109- Hong Hac Dai Lai JSC has announced to sell 30 land plots of the Flamingo Dai Lai Resort project in Vinh Phuc Province at over VND7m / $392sqm. The land plots are between 300-700sqm ie $117k-274k. SGT

261109-Over 2 million tourists, among them 200,000 foreigners, have visited Binh Thuan this year - a 9.9 % year-on-year increase - bringing the year's tourism revenue to nearly VND1.7tr / $95.1m - a 31.12% year-on-year increase. SGT

301109-VNAT expects Vietnam to welcome 4.2m-4.25m international tourists in 2010 or 10% more than 2009 given stable conditions in local and world economies. SGT

021209-Despite economic difficulties, the northern province of Ninh Binh has welcomed 2m tourists including 27,000 foreigners since the beginning of this year and is a yearly increase of 27%. The province has also earned VND220bn revenue (US$12.2 million) from tourism, which is up 50% year on year. VNN

021209-VNAT hopes to triple the tourism industry’s rev¬enue to around US$10-11bn by 2015. In its tourism development strategy draft, the Government body expects the country's tourism sector to welcome 7-8m foreign travelers and around 32m local tour¬ists a year in 2015. This compares well with last year's international arrivals of some 4.2m and revenue of around US$3.5 in 2008. In 2020, Vietnams hospitality industry should be a strong player in the region with around 11-12m foreign tourists and 45-48m domestic travelers. VNAT expect Vietnam to receive around 6m foreign visitors in 2010. However, this target now looks highly unlikely as the country received merely 3.4m international travelers in this year to date, down 12.3% yoy. They hope to welcome around 4.2-4.5m international tourists in 2010. Vietnam has 764 international travel firms and a huge number of domestic travel companies as well as 10,800 accommodation facilities with 208,000 rooms. SGT

071209-VNAT stats showed that Vietnam has seen a 9.7% growth rate for international tourist arrivals jumping from 500,000 in 2001 to 4.2m in 2008. Tourism earned $3.37bn in 2008 – 3 timesmore than 7 years ago. VNN

0714209-According to VNAT the number of foreign tourists visiting the Cuu Long / Mekong Delta accounts for 4.3-6.5% of the total and 5-9% of domestic tourists. In 2008 tourism sector revenues were VND2tr / $110m or just 2.46% of the national figure. VNN

091209-VNAT said Vietnam would likely spend VND40bn / $2.1m on promoting tourism in 2010. It is expected that nearly 3.9m foreign tourists will visit in 2009 – down only 10% but the turnover increased by 10% on 2008 thanks to the increase in local tourists from 21m in 2008 to about 25m this year. VIR

161209-The country has 303No. 3-5 star hotels including 32No. 5 star hotels & 92No. 4 star hotels. SGT

271209-There are about 23No. 3 star or higher stan¬dard hotels and resorts in Danang City, providing some 1,700 rooms but projections in¬dicate that the city will see around 42 hotel developments with around 7,000No. 3-5 star hotel rooms in the next 5 years. SGT

261209-Vietnam's golf course strategy towards 2020
Name of projects Operational Planned Total
Hoa Binh province 1 2 3
Phoenix Golf Resort Yes
Tam Tang-Mai Chau golf resort Not yet
Trung Minh-Ky Son golf resort Not yet
Lang Son province 0 1 1
Golf course of Lang Son International JV Company Not yet
Bac Giang province 0 1 1
Yen Dung golf, residential and service complex Not yet
Phu Tho province 0 1 1
Golf course in Tam Nong district Not yet
Quang Ninh province 1 4 5
Vinh Thuan golf course Yes
Ao Tien golf course Not yet
Yen Lap golf course Not yet
Tuan Chau golf course Not yet
A golf course of Ha Long eco-tourist resort Not yet
Hanoi 4 4 8
Golf projects decided by Hanoi People's Committee
Hai Duong province 1 0 1
Chi Linh Star Golf and Country Club Yes
Vinh Phuc province 2 1 3
Tam Dao golf course Yes
Golf course of Dai Lai Tourist Resort Not yet
Dam Vac golf course Yes
Ninh Binh province 0 1 1
Golf course of Dong Chuong Lake urban town Not yet
Haiphong city 1 1 2
Golf course of Song Gia Resort Not yet
Do Son International Golf Course Yes
Ha Nam province 0 1 1
Tam Chuc tourist resort Not yet
Nghe An province 0 1 1
Cua Lo golf course, hotel and villa complex Not yet
Ha Tinh province 0 1 1
Xuan Thanh golf and tourist resort Not yet
Quang Binh province 0 1 1
Golf course at Bang Hot Spring tourist resort Not yet
Thua Thien-Hue province 0 3 3
Golf and service complex Not yet
Laguna Vietnam Not yet
NaMa tourist resort Not yet
Danang city 0 3 3
Ba Na golf course Not yet
Vinacapital's golf course Not yet
Golf course of Da Phuoc International Urban Town Not yet
Quang Nam province 1 0 1
Indochina Hoi An golf course Yes
Quang Ngai province 0 1 1
Golf course at Dung Quat Economic Zone Not yet
Binh Dinh province 0 1 1
Golf course of Vinh Hoi tourist resort Not yet
Phu Yen province 0 2 2
Phu Yen High-grade Tourism Complex Not yet
Golf course of Thanh Lau-O Loan tourist resort Not yet
Khanh Hoa province 0 4 4
Golf course of Nha Trang tourist complex Not yet
Vinpearl golf course Not yet
Cam Ranh golf and villa project Not yet
Cam Lap golf course Not yet
Ninh Thuan province 0 3 3
Golf course of Binh Tien tourist resort Not yet
Golf course of Phan Rang-Thap Cham golf & villa Not yet
Dinh Cape golf course Not yet
Binh Thuan province 2 6 8
Phan Thief golf course Yes
Ham Thuan Nam golf and villa complex Not yet
High-end international tourist resort Not yet
Sealinks Golf and Country Club Yes
Golf course of Dai Duong Valley tourist resort Not yet
Golf course of Binh Thuan tourist and township Not yet
Bac Binh golf, recreational and villa complex Not yet
Golf, recreational and villa complex in Mui Ne Not yet
Gia Lai province 0 1 1
Glar golf course Not yet
Lam Dong province 1 6 6
Golf course of Da Ron Lake tourist resort Not yet
Golf course of Wren tourist resort Not yet
Golf course of Sacom tourist resort Not yet
Loc Phat golf course Not yet
Golf course of Da Huoai tourist complex Not yet
Golf course at Not Phu Dong Thien Wong Yes
Kon Tum province 0 1 1
Goff course of Saigon-Mang Den Company Not yet
Ba Ria-Vung Tau province 1 6 6
Golf course of Vung Tau Paradise JV Company Yes
Golf course of Winvest Investment Company Ltd Not yet
Huong Sen golf and service complex Not yet
Golf course of Ho Tram Strip project Not yet
Golf course of Chau Duc complex Not yet
Goff course of Loc An tourist resort Not yet
Tay Ninh province 0 1 1
Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship golf course Not yet
Binh Duong province 1 3 4
Palm-Song Be golf course Yes
Golf course of Mekong Golf Villas Not yet
Twin Doves Golf Club and Resort Not yet
Ho Diep Island Golf Club and Resort Not yet
Dong Nai province 2 3 6
May River Golf Club Yes
Long Thanh golf course Yes
Goff course of Jeongsan Vine Company Ltd Not yet
Golf course of Dal Phuoc eco-tourist resort Not yet
Golf course of Phuoc Binh complex Not yet
Ho Chi Minh City 1 4 6
Golf course of Hoa Viet Company Ltd Yes
Sing Viet golf course Not yet
GS golf course Not yet
Golf course of Saigon Company Not yet
Golf course at Tan Son Nhat International Airport Not Yet
Can Tho city 0 1 1
Golf course in Binh Thuy district Not yet
Tien Giang province 0 1 1
Tien Giang golf course Not yet
Long An province 0 2 2
Golden Palm Resort Community in Can Giuoc Not yet
Golf course of Duc Hoe urban town Not yet

281209-Vietnam is forecast to see an 11% decline in international tourist arrivals in 2009 with the financial crisis and the HIN1 swine flu cited as the culprits. About 3.8m foreign are forecast to come to the country this year, down by 450,000 from 2008 shows VNAT. Despite the fall in foreign tourist arrivals the tourism sec¬tor's revenue is expected to grow 6.5% to 9% to VND68-70tr / $3.67-3.78bn thanks to an upsurge in domestic traveler numbers. The sector has served around 25m local travelers this year, up to 19% year-on-year. Vietnam has seen a higher decline in international visitor arrivals than other destinations in the Asia Pacific region. PATA said Asia Pacific destinations had incurred a 5% drop in international arrivals in 2009. This means the region would receive 17m fewer visitors this year than in 2008 when therewere 377m arrivals. VNAT said the country could attract 4.5-4.6m international visitors in 2010 up 18%-21% and the number of domestic travelers is projected to reach 28m in 2010. HCMC had received only 2.6m foreign visitors in 2009 down by 200,000 and VNAT has forecast the number of foreign visitors to the city in 2010 would reach 2.8m, the same as in 2008. SGT

301209-The sector accounts for 44.7% of total FDI into Vietnam in January November comprising 31 new projects registered for tourist accommodations and food and bev¬erage with total investment pledged at US$5bn. Another 8 projects have increased capital to over US$3.8bn. "Total new investment of the ser¬vices reached US$8.8 billion, making up around 44.7% of total FDI into the country." The flow of developing tourism projects is increasing with investors still reg¬istering to build high-class hotels and resorts instead of entertainment service projects. Foreign investors are registering for hotels and tourism real estate projects while the industry also needs entertainment services to cater to travelers. Up to 2008, over 80% of the 307 FDI projects in the tourism industry were hotel projects. According to VNAT, as of Novem¬ber the country had 10,900 tourist accommodations with over 215,000 rooms, including 315No. 3-5 ¬star hotels and resorts with over 33,600 rooms. The department forecast that the hospitality sector this year would receive 3.8m foreign visitors, down nearly 11% year-on-year, and 25m domestic travelers, up 19% compared to last year. Tourism revenue is expected to grow 6.5 %-9% to VND68-70 trillion / $3.67-3.79bn. SGT

311209-Binh Thuan attracted about 2.2m tourists, many from Russia, China and Switzerland and has gained a 32% yoy increase in turnover in 2009. This year it will have over 1,000 licenced projects worth aboutVND98tr / $5.3bn of which 74 are foreign invested worth about $1bn. SGT

070110-Binh Thuan Province welcomed 2.2m tourists in 2009, up 10% year-on-year, including 222,000 foreigners, up 13.7% year-on-year, most of them from Russia, China and Sweden. The province gained nearly VND1.9tr / $102.76m up by 32.8% over 2008. Phan Thiet City attracted a large number of tourists on weekends, festivals and holidays. On these days, occupancy in the city's hotels averaged 54% and occupancy in the city's resorts averaged over 95%. SGT

070110-Viet Nam welcomed 3.8 million foreign visitors last year, a decrease of 11.5% over 2008, but domestic visitors increased by 19% to 25m tourists, according to figures from the VNAT. Total revenue from tourism in 2009 was projected to top VND68-70tr / US$3.68-$3.79bn - up by 10% yoy. The country hopes to receive between 4.5-4.6m foreign visitors and 28m domestic travellers this year. VNN

140110-Da Nang’s tourism sector welcomed 1.35 million tourists to earn VND900bn / $48.7m up 6% in both tourists and revenue yoy on 2008. SGT

150110-According to VNAT the country has around 10,900 tour¬ist accommodations with 215,000 rooms, including around 184 three ¬star standard accommodations of nearly 13,200 rooms, 95 four star standard accommodations of nearly 11,630 rooms and 35 five star standard accommodations of over 8,800 rooms. SGT

190110-Binh Thaun’s tourism in¬dustry has targeted an annual growth rate of over 10% in the 2010- 2015 pe¬riod, but this was a high target. "We received more than 2m tourists last year so the growth rate of over 10% per year is high for the new period.” Binh Thuan attracted 2.2m local and international tourists in 2009 up nearly 10% compared to 2008. Its tourism revenue totaled nearly VND1.9tr / $102.75m up 32.8%year-on-year. SGT

190110-Scott Edelstein, a healthcare counsellor from US-based law firm Squire, Sanders and Dempsey, forecast that the value of global medical tourism would rise to $100 billion in 2012 from $60 billion in 2006. In Thailand around 750,000 people travelled for medical purposes in 2008, according to tourism authorities there. Bumrungrad Hospital, one of the biggest private hos¬pitals in Bangkok, said it treated around 430,000 for¬eign patients a year, from countries including the United States, Japan, Oman and Australia. Just under 350,000 people visited Singapore for treatment in 2007, according to official figures. VNN

200110-The central province of Thua Thien-Hue expects tourism to grow by 20% this year against 2009. In 2009, the province attracted 1.45 million visitors - 780,000 domestic travellers and 650,000 foreign arrivals. The province's tourism sector earned VND1.3 trillion (US$72.2 million) in total revenue in 2009. VNN

240110-HanoiTourist plans to reach a 12-16% growth in 2010. To reach its target, it will concentrate on building new 5 star hotels in Ngoc Khanh and Tran Quang Khai and completing other projects, including Hoan Kiem and Dan Chu 4 star hotels. VNN

100110-According to VNAT as of November 2009 there were 10,900 tourist accommodations including 315No. 3-5 star hotels and resorts with over 33,600 rooms. SGTW

250210-Tourism is a $4.5bn industry in Vietnam and EuroCham says it employs around 10% of the labor force in the service sector, thus making it one of the country’s key employment industries. SGT

270210-While the number of French tourist arrivals to Thai¬land was more than 400,000 per year, it was less than 200,000 to Vietnam, of whom 85% said they would never return to Vietnam for tourism, according to a survey by France-based Interface Tourism Company. Vietnam only attracts 4 million tourists annually, while Indonesia welcomes 6.3 mil¬lion, Malaysia (22 million) and Thailand (15 million) with a tourism spending of $180 billion, or $1,430 per traveler, far more than Vietnam's $3.7 billion, or $974 per traveler. VIR

070310-A project team from Georgetown sug¬gested to set up a convention and visitors bureau (CVB) to drive tourism development, particularly for the MICE segment. The presentation on "Best Practices of San Francisco Con¬vention and Visitors Bureau" said Singapore has excelled in attracting international con¬ventions and events. The evidence is that the country topped the list of international meeting cities in 2008 when it hosted 637 meetings, or 5.75% of the world's meetings. Following Singapore in that year were Paris, Brussels, Vienna, Barcelona, Tokyo, Seoul, Budapest, Copenhagen and London as shown in the team's "Best Practices for Convention and Visitors Bureau" presen¬tation at the seminar. Some East Asian countries have per¬formed well in attracting international conventions and opportunities opened to new entrants, including Vietnam, where experts said had so many to offer to MICE guests. Resorts and beaches along the coast of central Vietnam are among good destinations for them. Vietnam held huge potential for the convention segment as part of MICE, which stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions. MICE guests often traveled in large groups and spent much for high quality services and products so the countries like Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia classified them as very important visitors. Palm Garden Resort on the central coast said that MICE guests accounted for only 12% of the resort's total guests but made a great contribution to the revenue. MICE guests were business¬ persons, government officials and the best employees of companies who were paid for their travel, so their spending on accommodation, food and beverage, entertainment services was higher than normal travelers. The Georgetown team gave an example that a Korean convention attendee's aver¬age expenditure was around US$1,970 with US$645 of which for hotel, US$355 for retail store, US$226 for restaurant, US$182 for entertainment and the rest for other services. SGT

100310-Real estate developers are moving beyond beach resorts to build second homes in mountainous and suburban areas. Most second home projects for sale to date have been developed in the coastal areas of Da Nang, Hoi An, Plan Thiet and Vung Tau. However, developers are now looking to areas surrounding Hanoi and HCMC to provide weekend retreats. The first phase of the Six Senses Saigon River is being developed on 32.5he on the banks of the Dong Nai River in Nhon Trach district, which is close to a cluster of industrial parks, pending mod¬ern townships and an interna-tional airport. This is the first internation¬ally-branded resort residence being developed outside beach resorts. Others such as Hyatt Regency Danang Residences, The Nam Hai and Fusion Alya all have been or are being built in beach resort areas. The first phase of Six Sens¬es Saigon River is designed with 154 condominiums and villas with development cost estimated at $36 million. The 51 villas would be “no less than $1 million per unit". It was actually 20 minutes by speed boat from Bach Dang wharf in the downtown. The Ana Mandara in Hoi An old town will have 30 villas for sale along with 90 condominiums the developers will retain for lease to tourists. In Sapa an 88-room hotel resort will feature 82 villas for sale to local buyers under the long ¬term leases. VIR

160310-Nha Trang is home to 95% of the province's 406 operational hotels and resorts, with 3No. 5 star hotels, 5No. 4 star hotels and 12No. 3 star hotels, with a combined 2,451 rooms, with forecasts for 18 new hotels and resorts including Spring Hotel, Sea and Sun Hotel, Lam My Hotel and Nha Trang Palace. SGT

170310-According to the master plan of golf course development towards 2020 , Vietnam will have 89 golf courses by 2020 out of 166 projects approved by local authorities VIR

230310-Most deluxe hotels in HCMC are happy with the high occupancy now, at around 80%, as the travel business shows vibrant recovery in the 1st Quarter. International arrivals in the city are up 12% yoy. The head of the hotel and travel management division under the city's tourism department said average room occupancy of the city's big hotels is around 70%-80% and Saigontourist said “Some hotels even have the average hotel occupancy rate of up to 90%." The Rex and the Majestic said their occupancy rate is 80% in recent days. SGT

310310-Only 7 of 52 tourism projects on Phu Quoc have begun operations. SGT

030410-The 16km tourist littoral road linking Dien Ngoc of Danang City to Cua Dai Beach-Hoi An of Quang Nam Province has some 20 operational resorts and tourist com¬plexes along it and more than 30 projects of various scales of domestic and international investors are under construction or waiting for licenses. Moreover the road will link with the 23.4km resort road of Danang City to create a "five-star" resort road to attract more guests to Danang City which last year attracted 1.4 million guests, including cruise tourists. In 2010 it targets to wel¬come 2 million visitors. SGTW

030410-The 17km newly renovated Road 706b running from the Pavilion of the Lord to Mui Ne including Mui Ne, Ham Tien and Long Son tourist sites, will help further development of the strip. SGTW

250410-Nha Trang's Incomex Saigon Group project will cover 16 hectares in the city's Vinh Hoa ward. Designed by French architect company Archetype, the oceanfront development con¬sists 235 two-storey villas and is expected to be completed within two years. Land prices start at VND8m / $419sqm and each villa is built on an area of 300-700sqm ie $125k-$293k. VIR

110510-According to the WTO report, in recent years, the world's poorest countries have had far greater tour¬ism growth than developed countries. Tim Bartlett, a WTO consultant, said: "Vietnam is close to the world's 2 star outbound growth markets, China and India. Well over 20% of China s population can be classified as middle class with the means for outbound travel. Even in crisis ridden 2009, Chinese spent a total of US$43.7 billion on outbound travel, a massive 21% increase compared to the previous year. China is sending over 40 million travelers abroad per annum." SGT

180510-Russian visitors currently account for 30% of all foreign visitors to Binh Thuan. VNN

0310-There are 184No. 3 star standard hotels in Vietnam with 13,200 rooms, 95No. 4 ¬star hotels with 11,630 rooms and 35No. 5 star ones with over 8,800 rooms. SGT

060610-HCM City, along with Perth, and Hong Kong, ranked highest for buyer sentiment amongst hotel investors at 45.5% each, followed by Singapore (44.4%), Brisbane (43.2%), Chengdu (42.9%), Tokyo (42.9%) and Sydney (42.6%). VNN

120610-"Theme parks play a very impor¬tant role in boosting tourism," said VNAT and the lack of theme parks had affected the length of stay and spending by tourists in Viet Nam. The current, limited-scale theme parks in the country were not of in¬ternational standards. According to the MPI as of last month, there were 121 registered theme park projects with an investment of US$3.5 billion. HCMC leads the list with 27 projects, followed by Ha Noi with 19, Ba Ria- Vung Tau Province with 11, Binh Thuan Province with 10 and Khanh Hoa Province with 8. "To encourage investment in the field, the Government has promul¬gated a decree in May 2008 that says investors in the sector will pay a cor¬porate income tax (CIT) of 10% and they will also enjoy tax exemp¬tion for the first 4 years and half the rate for the next 5." VNN

010710-In 2009 the tourism industry earned the country over US$4bn accounting for 55% of the service sector despite the number of tourists dropping 10% over 2008. Former deputy head of the General Tourism Department said the industry also brought increased earnings for the transport, food and beverage and retail sectors, adding that the tour¬ism sector ranked 5th on the list of the country's biggest earners following textiles and garments, crude oil, leather shoes and sea¬food. He said that while the first 4 sectors faced decreasing turn¬over and depended heavily on im¬ported materials, the tourism industry's added value was huge. The vice chairman and general secretary of the Viet Nam Economic Associa¬tion calculated that direct income from the industry was $4bn in 2009. "If we take into account indi¬rect incomes brought to transport, culture, commerce, telecommuni¬cations and information, insurance and banking, the figure would be $6bn equaling to 6.5%-7% of the country's GDP." He added that Viet Nam's tourism potential has drawn much attention from foreign investors. He said there were 250 projects invested in the industry with total registered capital of $4.5bn accounting for around 4% of total the country's total projects and 15% of total FDI during the 2001-08 period. Head of the General Tourism Department said in 2009 alone, FDI in tourism had surged, reaching $8.8bn accounting for 41% of total FDI inflows. He said the industry had created about 450,000 direct and 1m indirect jobs in 2009 add¬ing that it promoted the development of aviation, construction, ser¬vices and commerce. VNN

030810-Since 2001 Da Nang has reported 15% annual visitor growth and expects 1.4m this year including 350,000 foreigners, earning more than $55m / VND1tr from tourism. VNN

070810-The Ha Noi Natural Re¬sources and Environment (HNRE) department said there were 19 golf-course projects in the pipeline, of which 8 had been ap¬proved for construction be¬tween now and 2020. Some 4 new golf courses have recently opened in Soc Son, which occupies an area of 110ha; Van Tel, 128ha; Dong Mo, 350ha; and Van Son,192 ha with 4 more courses are under construction. A number of planned golf-course projects have morphed into high-rise apartment buildings. In May, 2010, the 32.1-ha 9 hole Me Tri Sports and Entertainment Com¬plex became a residential housing project, com¬plete with green trees and lakes. VNN

010910-By the end 2009 HCMC had 7 golf course projects covering 725he, down from 13 at end 2008. SGTW

220910-The 2nd Home market had an additional 11,000 villas and 10,000 condos in the 3rd Quarter of this year, 5 & 3 times over the current levels respectively. A majority of these properties are on the central coast of Vietnam. Buyers of such villas initially came from overseas individuals and fund companies, but this had changed with local buyers accounting for a majority. Buyers from Hanoi account for 40%, followed by those from HCMC with 30%. Townsend said the number of foreigners interested in the second¬ home market remained insignifi¬cant despite recent legal changes, about 5% of the buyers. Likewise, overseas Vietnamese make up a slight 10%. Unlike the second-home market in neighboring Thailand where only 18% of second-home sales involve local buyers, buying by locals in the market here in Vietnam represent a staggering 85%. SGT

270910-The tourism industry generates some VND70tr / $3.59bn each year now but is expected to account for 8% of the national GDP by 2020, compared to 4% now ac¬cording to the 11th Tourism Festival. SGT

300910-The ASEAN Tourism Investment Forum held in HCM City said, "The number of tourists to Viet Nam shows a consecutive increase with an average of 10.1% a year for international tourists, and 4.8% for do¬mestic tourists," according to the deputy di¬rector of Institute for Tourism Development Research. Last year, international tour¬ists to Viet Nam decreased by 10% yoy due to the economic crisis. How¬ever, the number of domes¬tic tourists increased from 20 million of 2008 to 25 million. The development of tour¬ism had contributed posi¬tively to socio-economic de¬velopment, with earnings from tourism up from $1.1bn in 2001 to $3.6bn in 2009, with an annual growth rate of 16.6%. According to the General Statistics Office, foreign cur¬rency earnings from tourism reached $4.02 billion in 2008, making tourism the 5th high¬est field in foreign currency earnings (following exports of crude oil, garments, shoes and aquatic products). Tourism created 450.000 di¬rect jobs and 1m indirect jobs by 2009, contributing to poverty alleviation. Total investment capital from the national budget in tourism was $1.8bn in the 2001-07 period. In addition, enterprises have invested an average of $48m yearly into resorts and hotels. Tourism was ranked 4th in sectors that attract FDI invest¬ment in Viet Nam starting in 1988 with a $7.765m project. There were 431 FDI projects totalling $18bn in the pe¬riod of 1988-2008. The explosion of foreign in¬vestment into Viet Nam tour-ism can be seen clearly during the period of 2002-08, with 307 projects and total regis¬tered capital of $15.454bn. "This trend is likely to con¬tinue." FDI companies also created 40,000 direct jobs and tens of thousands of indirect jobs. Last year, there were 65 million international tourists travelling to ASEAN coun¬tries, 1% higher than the previous year, and 59.7% higher than in 2000, in spite of the global eco¬nomic crisis. VNN

231010-The number of Russian tourists visiting Binh Thuan has shot up in the last few years and they now account for 30% of all foreign tourist arrivals. The number of Russian visitors to Mui Ne rose from 17,000 in 2007 to 60,000 in the first 9 months of 2010. VNN

011110-About 6,601 vaca¬tion villas and 5,381 vacation con¬dos will be launched in Vietnam nationwide at the end this year, likened to "a tsunami in the vaca¬tion property market". VIR

041110-The Da Nang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said the city attracted nearly 1.6m visi¬tors in the first 10 months of this year - about 110% of this year's target, and up 42% on the same period last year. There were 336,000 inter¬national visitors to the central city, a year-on-year increase of 26%. Total turnover of the tour¬ism industry in the first 10 months of the year was about VND 1.1 trillion (US$56.4m - 103.5% of the year's plan, and up 62% on the same period last year. According to the depart¬ment, 6 cruise ships are ex¬pected to bring more than 5,000 international tourists to the city between now and the end of the year. VNN

101110-The HCMC Dept of Tourism said the city would welcome 3.1m international visitors in this year, up 20% year-on-year, higher than an earlier prediction of 2.8m. Tourism revenue will reach VND41tr / $2.1bn, up 17% year-on-year. The department expects to wel¬come 3.5m foreign visitors in 2011 and hopes to earn VND49tr / $2.51bn. SGT

201110-Shopping accounts for only 20% of each visitor's total spending while they're in the country, while in Thailand the rate is 60%. VNN

231110-Accor announced o partnership with the Benthanh Group that will develop a network of at least 8 economy "Ibis" hotels in the country's major cities. VNN

031210-Thua Thien-Hue welcomed almost 1.4m tourists as of November, an increase of 11.7% against the first 11 months of 2009. The number of foreign tourists had increased 7.9% and the number of foreign deluxe cruise ships docking at the province's Chan May Port had also risen. Tourism revenue was VND774 billion (U5$38.7 million), 20.4% higher than 2009. VNN

051210-Danang has reported the city expects to welcome 1.77m tourists this year, up 33% yoy with tourism revenue to reach nearly VND1.24tr / $63.6m up 39%. There are 55 tourism projects with total capital of nearly US$2.84 billion in the central city, the majority of which were invested by local investors, but foreign investment accounted for US$1.2bn in 10 of them. SGT

171210-Hoi An City in the central province of Quang Nam Province has received over 1.2 million visitors in 2010 or 17% higher than this year's target. The city now has 83 hotels with 3,500 rooms and 19 other accommodation facilities under construction. SGT

211210-Only 65 tourism projects have been developed in Lam Dong Province in the past 5 years while the local government has given licenses to 142 projects. Only19 of the 65 projects have started operating. SGT

241210-HCMC the country's biggest tourism center, will need to build around 6,000No. 3-5 star hotel rooms by 2015 to meet the rising demand of MICE guests. The city received 2.6m for¬eign visitors in 2009 and the figure was earlier forecast to rise to over 2.8m in 2010 but the actual number might be around 3.1 million. Given that growth rate, the Hotel Division of the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has forecast growth of international ar¬rivals in 2009-2015 would be 15% per year to reach over 3.9m visitors by 2015. Around 988,000 of the visi¬tors will come for business purposes. The hotel division said at a meeting early this week, "The 3-5 ¬star hotel rooms make up around 24% of the total rooms, so they are not enough to serve to big MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) groups." The city now has 785 hotels with over 24,000 guestrooms, including 68No. 3-5 star hotels with nearly 9,300 rooms. HCMC, according to the division, has around 200 meeting rooms measuring a total of 28,000sqm. Almost all of the rooms are at the standard hotels, and the rest at convention centers such as White Palace, and Saigon Exhibition And Convention Center. As for the hotels, the Windsor Plaza has the biggest number of meeting rooms, at 22 with a total area of 2,700sqm and its grand ball¬room can seat 1,200 people. The Sheraton Saigon Hotel and Towers has 13 meeting rooms cover¬ing a combined 1,500sqm. The seating capacity of its grand ballroom is nearly 1,100 people. MICE organizers often choose 4-5 star hotels for interna¬tional conferences but the meeting rooms that meet requirements for such conferences are insufficient to meet the demand. Rents for the meeting rooms at the 5 star hotels vary depending on locations. The 1,000-seat-plus ballroom at the 5 star hotels in the downtown area costs US$13,500 per day but the rent is a mere US$3,600 for 5 star hotels far from the city center. For the same downtown location, the rents may also be different. A 5 star hotel may charge a 700-seat meeting room at US$3,000 while another 5 star hotel may demand US$6,800 for a 500-seat meeting room. SGT

311210-VNAT announced that the hospitality industry earne
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