Hospitality firms see Viet Nam’s potential

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018 09:04

Tran Phu Cuong, general director of the International Cooperation Department under the Viet Nam National Administration Tourism, speaks at the Second Annual Global Hotels and Resorts conference, which opened yesterday in HCM City. — VNS Photo Van Chau

Viet Nam has emerged as a promising market in the hospitality sector among ASEAN-member countries, especially for luxury hotels and resorts, speakers said at a hotel and resort conference held on Monday in HCM City.

Nearly 100 officials representing State agencies, hotel and resort developers, design and architecture firms, and solution providers worldwide are taking part in the Second Annual Global Hotels and Resorts conference.

Vanya Tran, general director of Viet Nam Hotel Resort Pro (VHRPRO) and the chair of the meeting, told Viet Nam News on the sidelines of the event that Viet Nam had great potential but lacked the “know-how and professionalism to offer world-class products and services” in the hospitality field.

“I believe what is unbeatable about Viet Nam’s tourism and hospitality is its landscapes, people and cuisine,” she said. “The country’s landscapes are breathtaking, the cuisine is authentic, and the Vietnamese are supportive and open to learning new things.”

“Application of advanced technologies, such as digital marketing, to hospitality management and training of human resources, is the key to development,” she said, adding that better linkages among hospitality players would also enhance the value chain.

The 6-star Amanoi Resort in southern Ninh Thuan Province.

Tran Phu Cuong, general director of the International Cooperation Department under the Viet Nam National Administration Tourism, noted that Viet Nam was competing with Thailand to become one of the best tourist destinations in the ASEAN region.

“Why Thailand? Thailand is among the ASEAN countries with the highest number of international tourists, which contributes greatly to its GDP,” he said.

Despite similarities in culture and natural landscapes, Thailand’s tourism industry is more competitive than Viet Nam’s.

“Viet Nam can learn a great deal from Thailand, but we should keep our own special unique features,” Cuong said.

Lian Miew Ching, design director of Singapore-based CHIL Interior Design in Asia, said that she had seen many beautifully designed hotels and resorts in Viet Nam.

“Viet Nam’s economy is growing at the fastest pace ever, especially the hospitality industry,” she said. “Travelling has become a necessity, not a luxury any more.”

Brenton Smith, director of Bates Smart, an Australian firm providing architecture, interior design and urban design strategies, said that Viet Nam had potential to develop project management, investment and architecture and interior design.

“Everything in Viet Nam is authentic, including nature, people and cuisine,” he said. “I visited Hoi An, Da Nang and Hue, and was really impressed with the beautiful landscapes.”

A view of Lahana Resort in Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province. — Photo Duy Hung

Last year, Viet Nam was ranked the third fastest-growing tourist destination by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

More than 150 new four- and five-star properties are expected to open in the country by 2020.

In addition, the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement, which will eliminate more than 99 per cent of customs duties on goods, is expected to open up Vietnamese service markets to EU firms, and spur tourism between the two sides.

Viet Nam received a record-high of nearly 13 million foreign visitors last year, a 29.1 per cent jump over the previous year, according to the General Statistics Office.

The country is expected to have 17-20 million foreign visitors and 82 million domestic tourists by 2020.

The two-day conference is being organised by Bricsa Consulting, which holds high-end networking and knowledge-sharing conferences.

Discussion topics at the event included competition trends in the hospitality market, the needs of a diversifying market and foreign investment opportunities in Viet Nam.

The conference will continue today with discussions about the future of Viet Nam’s tourism sector, as well as talks about merger and acquisition deals in the real estate sector in Viet Nam and Thailand. — VNS

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