|Cooperation bringing Vietnam-ese tourism to new heights |
Changes in tourist behaviour and intentions, along with challenges in the context of a gradual recovery of the industry, are affecting the development strategies of Vietnam’s leading tourism-hotel groups.
Corporations such as Sun Group, Vingroup, Bitexco, and CEO Group are leaning toward cooperating with international hotel management groups instead of building and developing their own resorts as before. This approach seems to be helping domestic and international brands take advantage of each other’s strengths, with one side possessing economic potential and market knowledge while the other brings brand name and management experience.
Marriott International, on June 22, signed a strategic agreement with Vinpearl, Vietnam’s largest hospitality and leisure chain, which currently operates 35 hotels and resorts spanning 17 cities and provinces. The agreement will contribute to converting and developing 2,200 rooms across eight Vinpearl hotels and resorts in Vietnam.
At the same time, it will expand Marriott International’s presence in the high-end hotel and resort segment in the domestic market with the brands Autograph Collection, Marriott Hotels, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, and Four Points by Sheraton.
“With the country’s solid foundation for a resilient economy, and continuous growth of its infrastructure especially in tourism, we are confident this collaboration will enable us to better cater to our guests’ needs,” said Rajeev Menon, president for Asia-Pacific (excluding Greater China) at Marriott International.
According to the agreed roadmap between the two sides, of the eight hotels, six are conversions that are expected to be part of Marriott’s system later this year and two new-build hotels are expected to open in 2025. Vinpearl’s Landmark 81 will be launched under the new name Autograph Collection, the world’s most luxurious hotel brand belonging to the chain of Autograph Collection Hotels for the first time in Vietnam.
Vu Thi Kim Huong, head of Investment Control at Vinpearl said, “The comprehensive cooperation strategy with Marriott International will contribute to quickly bringing the Vinpearl system to join the globe’s prestigious hotel network, and raise the level of national tourism. Domestic and international tourists can access a variety of high-class hotel service experiences right in Vietnam.”
Previously on June 18, Sun Hospitality Group (SHG), a hotel brand of Sun Group, and IHG Hotels & Resorts also signed a cooperation agreement to develop more leading tourism and resort models in Vietnam.
The two sides have agreed to develop an onsen hot spring resort model via the Vignette Collection brand in Vietnam, under the cooperation of the world-renowned spa and wellness consultant Raison d’Etre. The two groups also signed a cooperation agreement to manage four hotels in Danang and Quang Ninh, covering over 2,700 rooms.
At the Ba Na Hills project, the two sides will develop three hotels managed by IHG featuring the brands Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn Resort, and VOCO, aiming to serve 10 million visitors to Danang by the end of the decade.
In Quang Ninh, IHG will open the 616-room Holiday Inn Resort Yoko Park Onsen in 2026, within the Yoko Park campus, a resort and hot spring complex funded by Sun Group.
The number of rooms IHG manages for SHG has also increased 10 times over, making Vietnam a strong growth market for the former. It has the goal of adding 20 new hotels and supplying the market with more than 6,000 rooms by 2027.
While ramping up in frequency, tie-ups between domestic hotel brands and international hotel groups have occurred several times in the past decade.
In 2012, Sun Group signed a deal with IHG to manage and operate the luxury InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort. Four years later, MIKGroup teamed up with Meliá Group to develop the 5-star Crowne Plaza Starbay resort in Phu Quoc. After that, this group continued to cooperate with Accor to develop the Mövenpick Villas & Residences Phu Quoc project.
In 2018, CEO Group struck a deal with leading US hotel operation management group Best Western to operate the Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc hotel and resort apartment project.
And last year, Dat Gia Company, a real estate developer with 20 years of experience in the Vietnamese market, cooperated with Wyndham Grand Hotels & Resorts Group to develop Wyndham Grand Lagoona Binh Chau in Ba Ria-Vung Tau.
According to statistics from Savills Hotels, around 65 regional and international hotel brands have been present in the Vietnamese market. The number of international branded hotel and resort projects in Vietnam has grown impressively, from 36 projects of around 8,200 rooms in 2010 to 120 projects of 32,000 rooms by the end of January this year.
While international and regional operating units tended to focus their presence on key markets such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Nha Trang, Danang, and Phu Quoc, destinations such as Ho Tram, Dalat, Phan Thiet, and Quy Nhon are now receiving much more attention.
“Partnering with hotel brands helps bring value to the project from the very beginning through technical and pre-opening consulting services, to ensure the project meets design standards and has the ability to operate efficiently and optimise costs when in operation,” said Mauro Gasparotti, director of Savills Hotels Asia-Pacific.