Last year, the United Nations World Travel Organisation (UNWTO) listed Vietnam among the top 10 fastest-growing tourist destinations. Jones Lang LaSalle also cast a vote of confidence, listing Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi among the 26 most attractive cities for hotel investment worldwide.
But what is the word on the street? It’s easy to say ‘invest in Vietnam’, but the potential for growth is more nuanced than that. To take a closer look at what’s happening in the Vietnam market, and what might transpire within the next few years, QUO spoke with some of the country’s most prominent hospitality insiders.
Here are some of the key thoughts from the discussion.
- Vietnam should be ranked higher in terms of potential growth. Vietnam offers fantastic opportunities for hotelier and investors, as hotel numbers are still low compared to other Asian tourism hotspots.
- The luxury market may not be that attractive to investors. There are certain areas where luxury hotels are in short supply, but overall, it’s not the most profitable market in the country.
- The mid-scale market is promising, and could put pressure on luxury brands.
- Tech will play a role, but not a crucial one. Vietnam has some catching up to do in the tech sphere – will this be a problem in an industry increasingly turning to technology to individualise services?
- Design should play a more prominent role. While local brands strive to reach international standards, Western travellers are still looking for something authentically local.
- Vietnam has changing traveller demographics that will influence the local hospitality scene. New markets such as China and India have for the moment replaced Western visitors as the main source of inbound tourism.
- International hoteliers should not underestimate local players. Even though Vietnam is still catching up to the West, this is not necessarily a disadvantage.
- Overall, the success of the Vietnamese hotel and travel industry will be a ‘team effort’. Everyone sees the country’s potential, so interest is coming from a range of sectors.