|A panel discussion at the 2019 Vietnam Tourism Property Forum held in HCM City — Photo courtesy of the organiser
Ha Manh Tien, chairman of the Vietnam Association of Corporate Directors, told the 2019 Vietnam Tourism Property Forum that the tourism industry had been growing at 30-40 per cent annually in recent years, among the fastest in the world.
Vietnam received 15.5 million international visitors last year and the number is expected to reach 18 million this year.
He said the tourism property market had been exploding and attracting a flood of domestic and international investors.
“Many developers who previously invested only in residential property have begun to invest in tourism property, creating a vibrant market.”
Ha Van Sieu, vice chairman of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said the growth in the number of international and domestic tourists had set off a massive wave of investment in resorts, hotels, villas, and tourism apartments in major tourism centres.
In 2011 the country had 13,756 accommodations with over 256,000 rooms, and the number increased to 28,000 accommodations with 550,000 rooms last year.
“With the trend of tourist flows to the Asia-Pacific region to continue, and Vietnam being a rising star in ASEAN, we are optimistic about the prospects of tourism growth in the next 10 years.”
Vietnam is forecast to receive 21 million international visitors by 2020 and 47 million a decade later for average growth of 9-11 per cent per year.
"The country needs to have 650,000-700,000 rooms by 2020, 950,000-1.05 million rooms by 2025 and 1.3-1.45 million rooms by 2030," he said.
“Tourism property will continue to be one of the most promising areas of investment if developers choose the right location and right types that capture the needs of a new generation of travellers.”
Kai Marcus Schroter, CEO of Tourism Hospitality Management, hailed the potential of the tourism property sector, but also said there were challenges to be overcome.
Vietnam has a lot of beautiful landscapes, but many tourists do not known about Vietnam because the country has not promoted itself well, according to the CEO.
Tourism infrastructure is poor.
Tourism property products lack distinctive and unique features.
Sieu said tourists preferred experiences, and this required investors to develop such products. For instance, a tourism property project could become a complex and be associated with things like a casino, sports, events, and others, he added.
Hotel and resort operators needed to diversify accommodation choices to satisfy the growing needs of customers, he said.
Nguyen Tran Nam, chairman of the Vietnam Real Estate Association, said: “The tourism property market cake is delicious but not everyone can eat it. To develop in a sustainable manner, the market needs quality developers.”
The qualifications and skills of staff at many hotels and resorts were low, and enterprises needed to improve the quality of their personnel training and should not rely too much on courses at schools.
Delegates at the forum suggested the country should pay more attention to environmental issues while developing tourism property projects because Vietnam’s tourism industry heavily depends on natural landscapes and elements, and so environmental degradation could make the future grim for these famous destinations.
The annual forum is organised by Theleader magazine.