|Towns in Quang Binh could be on the cusp of a tourism boom akin to those in Phu Quoc and Nha Trang |
Holding a strategic position in the East-West Economic Corridor, the central province of Quang Binh possesses a very convenient transport system.
The province is home to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, a world heritage site dubbed as the ‘cave kingdom’. Wonders like these enabled Quang Binh to become one of the region’s leading adventure tourism centres, which also led to opportunities to push up development in other sectors.
Since last year, Quang Binh has called for investment in over 60 projects in diverse fields of agriculture, industry-energy-trade, tourism, and infrastructure development. The province has been attempting to create growth momentum through the presence of motivating projects, such as the Quang Trach 2 thermal power plant with a capacity of 1,200MW and valued at $2.09 billion by Electricity of Vietnam; the $34.7 million Bao Ninh golf project from privately-held Truong Thinh Group; and a $565 million resort mega-complex by FLC Group, a major developer in the northern region.
At the province’s first major investment promotion conference in early 2021, 28 investors were committed to implementing 35 projects with the combined investment value surpassing $4 billion in the locality.
Aside from approaching this new capital flow, Quang Binh has accelerated the pace of public investment projects with high spillover effects in the province, like building a coastal route and Nhat Le Bridge 3 and expanding aircraft parking at Dong Hoi Airport.
According to Vu Dai Thang, Secretary of Quang Binh Party Committee, such investment promotion is a crucial task. From the outset of 2022, the province has resumed this promotion in the region through holding on-spot activities attracting businesses from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, among others.
Quang Binh has also hosted online networking events from Japan and South Korea to charm investors to the province.
In particular fields, Quang Binh has set forth very clear development orientations, according to Thang. In agriculture, efforts are geared towards developing sectors with high added value, such as promoting products under the ‘One Commune, One Product’ scheme and deep processing. For manufacturing, Quang Binh focuses on strengthening infrastructure in industrial zones, industrial clusters and economic zones, creating favourable conditions for investors to access land to build factories in the province.
“We also strive to best avail of local distinct renewable energy sources, particularly solar and wind power. Tourism is also set to grow into a spearhead sector in the upcoming time,” said Thang.
Quang Binh is planning to host its second large-scale investment promotion event in Ho Chi Minh City on March 25, which is expected to attract widespread attention from economists and investors all over the country.
The province is increasingly becoming a leading adventure tourism centre in Asia, rooted in the local imposing cave system and rich cultural values. Surpassing Vietnam’s boundaries, the image of Quang Binh as a beautiful land has been reaching friends afar through global reputed media channels such as Lonely Planet and CNN, or holistic experience of passionate visitors.
In the recent past, a film crew from Britain’s BBC Landmark Natural History Series chose Quang Binh for an upcoming documentary that depicts the marvellous scenes of Quang Binh’s nature.
According to figures from Quang Binh Department of Tourism, during the Lunar New Year, Quang Binh hailed more than 35,000 local and international visitors. Local authorities are confident it can welcome about two million visitors this year, including about 10,000 from overseas.
Impressive figures in the tourism sector are instrumental to warming up the local resort real estate market. Experts believed that the segment would retain its long-term appeal to investors, particularly coastal areas, which are witnessing marked changes recently.
The presence of leading developers like Vingroup, FLC, and Hung Thinh Group in the province is contributing to turning untapped local beaches into potential golden land.
“Localities such as Danang, Nha Trang, and Phu Quoc are familiar tourism hot-spots. These markets will reach saturation at some point, shifting investor attention to other localities such as Quang Binh or Phu Yen,” said Dang Hung Vo, former Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment. “These localities are not much different in their potential and might even find a faster growth rate.”
Quang Binh leaders unveiled that the province will be pushing tourism offerings in packages, along with tailor-made items such as golf resort packages and long-stay eco-tours, among others.
In the words of Secretary Thang, 2022 is set as the year for rebound and development with effective pandemic control. “Quang Binh commits to creating breakthroughs leveraging inclusive administrative reforms and pro-business administration for providing the most conducive environment for investors,” he said.
Distinct tourism on offer
Twice being acclaimed as a world heritage site, Phong Nha-Ke Bang Natural Park, deemed as the cave kingdom, encompasses more than 350 caves of diverse sizes and dates back millions of years.
Most outstanding among them are Son Doong, Hang En, Pygmy, Thien Duong, and the Tu Lan cave system.
The province is also home to stunning beaches, such as Da Nhay, Nhat Le-Quang Phu, Bao Ninh, and Hai Ninh; the Bang hot spring in Le Thuy district; and a world-class coastal golf course system in which one 36-hole golf course has become operational and many others are under intensive construction.
Strong catalyst for real estate
As of March 2021, of nearly 500 approved projects with a combined capital value reaching $2.08 billion, with nearly 120 real estate ventures involving building resorts or urban areas totalling approximately $1.4 billion, mainly in Dong Hoi city and Bo Trach district.
Strong development has been spotted in the province’s real estate market, particularly in Bao Ninh Peninsula, with the presence of leading developers.
A Vincom and shophouse complex in Dong Hoi by Vingroup has come on stream, in addition to a $565 million resort-entertainment development from FLC Group across the province’s coastline, as well as a Dolce Pennisula premier hotel condotel project by Truong Trinh Group, to name a few.
Lucrative renewables venue
Renewable energy is set as one of the top priority funding areas in Quang Binh, besides tourism and real estate.
As of now, 10 projects on renewable energy development boast completed surveys that have been submitted to the Ministry of Industry and Trade for evaluation, in an attempt to be added to the national power development plan. The total investment value currently touches $2.63 billion.
In wind power, by 2020 the total installed capacity reached 330MW with a committed capital value reaching $561 million. During 2021-2025, the total installed capacity is estimated to hit 422MW with mobilised capital reaching $717.4 million. The total investment value for Quang Binh’s wind power plan is estimated to top $1.18 billion.