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Hoiana Integrated Resort Set to Boost Economic Development in Central Vietnam

November 3, 2017 Hotel Developments No Comments Email Email

Central Vietnam is fast emerging as the new hot tourist destination in Asia, and its position as a ‘must visit’ destination will be further cemented with the opening of HOIANA in 2019, Vietnam’s first world-class integrated resort (IR). Located between Danang, Vietnam’s third-largest city, and Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage site, HOIANA will offer a full range of amenities bound to appeal to any type of tourist, from families and couples, to golfers, gamers and more.

Integrated resorts are generally defined as mega-tourism, entertainment and leisure developments that combine hotels, restaurants, convention centres, casinos, theme parks, and shopping centres. The Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas, Disneyland/Disneyworld, Melbourne’s Crown Entertainment Complex, South Africa’s Sun City, Mauritius, and The Atlantis in the Bahamas are among the world’s best-known IRs. Asia is also home to some of the most successful IRs, including Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore, Okada Manila, and several properties in Macau that have led the phenomenal transformation of a formerly sleepy Portuguese colony into ‘Asia’s Las Vegas’.

Many countries have realized the roles IRs can play in strengthening their overall tourism offerings. One example is Singapore, where the Ministry of Trade and Industry positions Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands as parts of a larger spectrum of products to enhance its appeal for the tourism industry and broader economy.[1]

The positive catalyst IRs can have on tourism are seen almost immediately. According to the Singapore Tourism Board, international visitor arrivals to Singapore grew 16.2% in January 2011 — just after Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands officially opened doors to guests — to reach nearly 1.1 million, the highest-ever recorded number during the month of January. In April of that year, Singapore welcomed 978,339 visitors, a 20% increase over April 2009. The strong performance reflects not just an improving global economy but also the positive impact IRs can have for tourism growth.[2]

In the ten years since the Venetian Macao opened as the flagship of ‘Asia’s Las Vegas’ in 2007, Macau’s casino revenue has quadrupled, from HK$55 billion to HK$217 billion last year. Despite a downturn in gaming visitors from China, revenue remains nearly five times the Vegas Strip. Macau visitor arrivals have expanded from 22 million to a projected 32 million this year, generating significant economic benefits beyond gaming.[3]

Wherever they emerge, integrated resorts have a dramatic impact, enhancing an entire destination’s tourism product and appeal – boosting the economy, changing the entire shape of tourism, and creating job opportunities like never before.

The iconic Marina Bay Sands has transformed Singapore into a leading destination for business, leisure, and entertainment in Asia. The award-winning IR provides a wide range of convention and exhibition facilities along with a luxury hotel and shopping centre, complete with high-end boutique shops and restaurants run by celebrity chefs, among other attractions.  It has also made Singapore well-recognized in the MICE industry by hosting many international events since opening.[4]

Given their size, IRs are a boost to local employment. For example in Singapore, it is estimated that the nation’s two IRs (Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa) directly employ around 22,000 employees, and “support more than 40,000 jobs throughout the economy.”[5] The opening of Galaxy Macau mega-resort in 2011 also contributed to the drop in Macau’s unemployment rate to 2.6 percent, the lowest since the establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region.[6]

As IRs require a diverse range of employees, they will often invest in training and personal development programs for local residents. For example in Macau, Sands China (one of the leading integrated resort developers in Macau) has initiated the “Sands China Academy” which provides training for nurturing local talent into future integrated resort professionals.[7]

Beyond simply attracting more tourists, IRs result in incremental spending in local communities in multiple ways. They spur complementary developments close by, becoming substantial hubs of economic activity, attracting higher spending visitors, increasing demand for hotel services, greater patronage at restaurants, attractions and golf courses, and heightened convention and exhibition activity.

Infrastructure development near IRs can further boost tourism revenue. In Macau, analysts are also expecting infrastructure improvements will further help to attract mass visitors to the destination. The opening of Taipa Ferry Terminal in the first half of 2017, as well as the Guangzhou Rail Link extension to Hengqin and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge in 2018, and Macau light rail in 2019 are all expected to make travel to Macau more convenient. [8]

Significant tax revenue is also generated: in Singapore’s case, the tax revenue from the two IRs in their first year of operation was S$900 million.[9] Meanwhile in Macau, the tax contribution of IRs for the first five months of 2017 has been immense: US$4.6 billion in gaming taxes, according to Macau’s Financial Services Bureau.

HOIANA to transform Central Vietnam

HOIANA, the giant US$4 billion venture on the outskirts of Hoi An, is now set to join the IR club, with the first phase scheduled to open in 2019. The opening will be headlined by a world-class casino, an ultra-luxury Rosewood Hotels & Resorts®, a 445-room hotel and 200 buy-to-let condos; and a championship golf course-country club by Robert Trent Jones II. Recreational facilities will include a beach club and entertainment venue for live shows and events, watersports and dive centre, and a promenade packed with bars and restaurants.

Over the next 10-15 years, HOIANA’s master development plan envisages a host of complementary tourism and leisure-related projects through subsequent development phases. The ultimate vision is a thriving township of hotels, residential and lifestyle zones, trendy beachfront village, convention centre, hospitality training college, water sports hub, and a giant lagoon for safe year-round swimming. It is estimated that Phase One will create 2,000 jobs for local residents.

“HOIANA is set to rank among Asia’s most renowned resort destinations, offering a self-contained world of entertainment, leisure, pleasure and luxury lifestyle,” says HOIANA’s Head of Business Development, Ms Amy Do. “This unrivalled, world class integrated resort and leisure playground will set a new benchmark for high-end tourism in Vietnam, bringing economic prosperity and opportunity to Quang Nam province.”

The developers have committed to establishing a hospitality school that will train employees not only for HOIANA, but other tourism businesses in this growing region.

“HOIANA is set to be destination for visitors and residents alike. Beyond directly creating thousands of jobs, HOIANA will play an important role in supporting businesses in the community. This development is truly a gamechanger for the central Vietnam region,” concluded Ms. Do.

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