Hanoi, HCMC set for high-end hotel boom
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City among the Southeast Asian cities caught up in a frenzy of high-end hotel construction
While other major Southeast Asian tourist destinations are facing a possible oversupply of luxury hotel rooms over the next few years, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are expected to benefit from the building boom.
An extra 23,000 four- and five-star hotel rooms are expected to become available in Singapore, Bangkok, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Kuala Lumpur between this year and 2012, according to a survey by global real estate consultant firm CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).
CBRE Hotels Regional Executive Director Robert McIntosh said it was possible some projects could be delayed or even cancelled.
The global economic downturn could result in the more mature tourist markets of Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur experiencing a short-term oversupply of high-end hotel rooms, according to the “Hotel Supply Outlook 2009” report released in by CBRE in Singapore last week.
Tourism industry experts have previously forecast HCMC and Hanoi need thousands of extra high-end hotel rooms to accommodation an increasing number of international travelers. In 2007, Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper said HCMC needed at least 10,000 more luxury hotel rooms by 2015. The same year, Vietnam News Agency reported Hanoi needed an extra 7,000 by 2010.
Over the next three years, HCMC is expected to add 38 percent more four- and five-star rooms, taking the total available in the city to 7,000, the report said.
Hanoi will add 3,000 rooms, an increase of 75 percent to 7,000 rooms, CBRE said.
“The addition of new supply to these cities is essential in promoting further development of the tourism industry and to ensure capacity exists to accommodate
future growth of visitor arrivals,” CBRE said in the report. “This is particularly important in Ho Chi Minh City which currently suffers from having a small supply of international hotels.”
Vietnam’s tourism sector has felt the sting of the global economic slump since the beginning of this year, with international arrivals dropping 16 percent in the first quarter from the same period last year.
Hoteliers in HCMC said the number of guests was down by 20 to 30 percent this year and the occupancy rates in luxury hotels were only about 20 to 50 percent.
A representative of a Japanese travel agency in HCMC, who did not wish to be named, said many foreign visitors did not want to return to the city because local hotels charged high room rates which did not reflect the quality of the services on offer.
About 100 hotels have halved room rates in a bid to attract foreign visitors. Room rates across Vietnam have fallen by an average of 30 to 50 percent since the end of last year, according to Vietnamese tour operators.
Source : vietnewsonline.vn
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