Hotels in Vietnam 2023 the way forward

January 03, 2023 | 10:00
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Providing the staple of tourism, seasoned hoteliers share with Vietnam Investment Review their reflections on 2022 and reveal what could be in store next.
Hotels in Vietnam 2023 the way forward
Hotels in Vietnam 2023 the way forward-illustration photo
Peter Tichy-General manager Radisson Blu Resort Cam Ranh
Hotels in Vietnam 2023 the way forward
In 2023, as we navigate challenges like rising inflation, we foresee India becoming the top focus markets for Vietnam’s tourism industry. Vietnam is also in the travel bucket list for tourists from source markets like Australia, the US, Canada, Europe, and Taiwan.

In addition, South Korea and Thailand are also now connected with many direct flights to different destinations in Vietnam, including Cam Ranh, and an increase of arrivals is expected.

For the domestic market, although demand is increasing, budgets are still tight. Budget-friendly products with flexible payment methods will attract the interest of local travellers, as well as attractive offers for weekend getaways to nearby destinations.

Many partners offer interesting tour options including city tours, adventure experiences, eco-tours, and more to highlight the true uniqueness of Vietnam.

Hylton Lipkin-General manager Alba Wellness Valley by Fusion
Hotels in Vietnam 2023 the way forward
As I am very passionate about what I call environmental wellness. I would really love to see the Vietnam tourism and hospitality industry change the way of thinking and doing business with more of a concern about the environment and sustainable development goals. We can lead the way and inspire our guests and visitors to bring awareness to these ongoing crises.

Wellness has become a massive trend in travel and this is the reason that I put my heart into following environmental wellness. We are expecting local authorities and many parties to join us in promoting Vietnam along these lines. Vietnam plans for the country to be carbon-neutral by 2050, so it is great to promote products, properties, and destinations, and at the same time protect the planet.

Vietnam offers a wide range of hospitality services and many must-see natural wonders, whether it is the outdoors from Halong bay with its magnificent views and tranquillity, or the enormous and mesmerising caves of Phong Nha, or Sapa with the highest peak in Southeast Asia and exquisite surroundings.

Theresa Tran-Regional director of Sales Bay Hotels & Resorts
Hotels in Vietnam 2023 the way forward
Vietnamese tourism will have more activities and trade shows to attract more people to come to instead of other countries. We can do package tours or promotions and combine with hotels or resorts to host incentive trips and company outings.

People are changing their travel habits, especially young people, and are perhaps more likely to travel by themselves by searching the internet and booking smaller tours. The hotel industry needs to hire staff and train them to offer better service as many people previously left the profession over the past few years.

To attract people to Ho Chi Minh City in particular, we have come up with a variety of promotions, such as luxury suite staycations, half board packages, last-minute deals, weekend deals, and family packages. With the success of Bay Ho Chi Minh City, our owners will open two more hotels, Bay Capital Danang and Bay Resort Hoi An, which are expected to open their doors in the first quarter of 2023.

Nikholas Bauer-General manager Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc
Hotels in Vietnam 2023 the way forward
The momentum for the comeback of travel will bear fruit throughout 2023 and we look forward to recovery to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year. Investments in the hospitality sector, including in both franchise and management models, will continue to thrive as Vietnam becomes ever more of interest to conglomerates looking for new destinations ahead of those already saturated and with decreasing appeal.

Tourism and hospitality sectors will continue to perform in cohesion and attract short- and long-stay travellers, whether on leisure or business to Vietnam, which still features a wide myriad of untouched destinations in addition to the current line-up such as Phu Quoc, Dalat, Sapa, Halong, Hoi An, and Hue, to mention a few.

To welcome in 2023, we’re happy to introduce Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc on the beautiful Pearl Island. It is the perfect place to plan your ultimate Year of the Cat getaway.

On the first day of the year, visitors are invited to enjoy a lively lion dance performance, which is strongly believed to dispel evil and bring luck and success. In addition, families can enjoy a Lunar New Year’s Eve meal and an array of fun events that are sure to delight the senses with various culinary marvels of each region in Vietnam.

Furthermore, all activities will have traditional Lunar New Year touches and create the most memorable moments for you and your loved ones such as traditional instrumental performances, festive folk games, as well as lots more surprises.

Xavier Cappelut-Vice President of Operations Accor Vietnam
Hotels in Vietnam 2023 the way forward
We are very proud of the way our domestic market picked up. In the first quarter of 2022 and leading to the summer, we had superb domestic demand in many parts of Vietnam. We are also thrilled that the demand for travel is coming back strongly for both leisure and corporate segments.

The corporate market has returned with some vigour, so definitely both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have relatively corporate demand since August. Business tourism enquiries from Q4 has started to materialised, not in the number pre-pandemic but it is gradually on the rise. A number of reputable destination management companies have had at least one solid group per month.

The factors that help contribute to this success are Vietnam is a very attractive country to invest in, and foreign investment has been quite robust over the past few years. The economy and job market is relatively strong, the result of that is disposable income has increased substantially.

In recent years people have been looking for more domestic opportunities to travel, but the fact that they now enjoy domestic hotels and destinations will have a lasting effect. Another reason is that there has been a substantial demand from the international markets because they are now looking for places to travel. This resulted in a relatively quick returned in travel demand in the second half of 2022.

One of the most important strategies for us is to focus on the domestic market because we gained a lot of traction from this market during the pandemic and increase the volume of direct business to the hotels by having targeted promotions in 2023. We are continuingly focusing on guest satisfaction through the improvement of services quality alongside attractive packages for family holidays and staycations as well as our food and beverage offerings.

We will focus on growing our global loyalty programme Accor Live Limitless and Accor Plus, as well as our meeting planner programme. We want to capitalise on the fact that our mobile app, website, and Facebook fan page will have the Vietnamese language fully ready to help us communicate with our guests effectively.

In 2023, we expect more long haul business, and a higher percentage of North and South American businesses. We also expect a rise from the Indian market. The South Korean market could return to pre-pandemic levels in the middle of 2023, and the Chinese and Japanese markets not long after.

For business tourism, we do expect enquiries to ramp up month by month and to come back strongly by April and the back half of 2023.

Alvaro Berton-General manager Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort
Hotels in Vietnam 2023 the way forward
Tourism will be a key economic sector for Vietnam and create sustainable value for the community.

We expect strong growth in tourism in Vietnam and the Indochina region over the next 5 years. Strong investment will be made into the beautiful beachfront areas and integrated experiences with 5-star service standard. Our resorts will ensure guests can trust us for flexibility, cleanliness, safety, and wellbeing.

We will stimulate growth thanks to promotion campaigns, especially through corporate events with business partners to create more attractive check-in spots. One example will be at Hamptons Pier in Ho Tram.

India is an emerging market expanding its direct flights to Vietnam, with increasing demand for close destinations with easy visa processes. We will also continue reinforcing our branded offerings, such as our handcrafted products, and mooncake packages.

For cultural experiences, we offer authentic artistic, historical, natural, and social heritage initiatives. There is a focus on local culture and food, fishing village life, beautiful landscapes, stunning beaches, and fresh seafood.

We also offer wellness getaways with massages, healthy food and detox drink options, hair and nail treatment, sporting and beach activities, beach activities, fitness, yoga, and much more.

With our “business in mind, leisure at heart” strategy, business visits can be extended so that employees can take a trip with friends and family. This provides opportunities for professionals to improve the balance between life and work, discover new places and cultures, and transform their ties with the company. The content is also customised to suit specific travelllers.

For more information, we have prepared and promoted a booklet for Lunar New Year as well as a quarterly newsletter. These highlight all all complimentary activities for in-house guests, culinary discoveries, and special discount offers so that guests can know more about our services in detail.

Remco Christiaan Vaatstra-General manager Radisson Resort Phan Thiet
Hotels in Vietnam 2023 the way forward
In 2023, we expect to see the continued recovery of the hospitality and tourism industry in Vietnam. We’re looking forward to the growing return of international travellers and more flexible visa policies.

Domestic travel will remain strong during the travel peak periods, as well as weekend travels to destinations close to the city – like Phan Thiet, which is among the top 10 places to visit in the country. According to recent statistics, the Phan Thiet-Binh Thuan region welcomed more than 4.5 million travellers in 2022, which has more doubled compared to the same period in 2021.

In 2023, we expect to see a continued growth of the tourism market in Phan Thiet, with the development of significant projects such as Super Project NovaWorld Phan Thiet, Summerland Mui Ne, and Thanh Long Bay Binh Thuan.

Holidaymakers must experience some of the famous tours, such as exploring the majestic northern mountains in Ha Giang or Sapa, conquering the world’s largest natural cave Son Doong, or taking in the rich variety of tourist attractions in Phan Thiet.

In fact, Phan Thiet-Binh Thuan was chosen as the venue for National Tourism Year 2023 with many activities taking place in this region. Tourists can discover the beautiful 60km coastline, centuries-old sand dunes, and iconic historical destinations such as the Ke Ga Cape and Ta Cu Mountain.

Another must-try is the Vietnamese food tour - every region has its own distinct flavors, composed of distinct spices and locally sourced ingredients. For example, in Phan Thiet, tourists can try the vast selection of seafood specialties, such as Phan Thiet noodle soup, Phan Thiet hotpot, and one sun dried squid.

Rajit Sukumaran-Managing director Southeast Asia & Korea, IHG Hotels & Resorts
Hotels in Vietnam 2023 the way forward
Vietnam is an important market for IHG and we are invested in Vietnam for the long term. As we double our estate portfolio within the next five years in Vietnam, we are building a robust ecosystem including a highly experienced in-market team and strong long-term partnerships to support that growth.

We are confident in the future of Vietnam’s travel and hospitality industry. Industry data shows that occupancy across Vietnam is steadily increasing. Currently, domestic demand is driving the majority of our business. With an average length of stay of three nights, we are seeing multi-generational and multi-family trips to our beautiful resort destinations in Danang and Phu Quoc, while essential business travel has returned to the cities, in particular Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as wedding events.

People have the inherent desire to travel, and the experience of the pandemic has made that desire stronger. Globally, our group-wide revenues per available room has exceeded pre-pandemic levels with leisure stays room revenue increasing 12 per cent on 2019, and ongoing return of business and group travel. Rates are also up 11 per cent.

With this pent-up demand and the industry pipeline, the future is bright. IHG currently operates 15 hotels in Vietnam and have 22 hotels in the pipeline across InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, and Holiday Inn and we are very excited to soon debut new brands such as Voco Hotels, Vignette Collection, Hotel Indigo, and Holiday Inn Express.

Our guests are looking for discerning service, unique experiences, seamless stays, and great views, and we want to build on our strong reputation and award-winning properties in the luxury and lifestyle space and grow across all of our brands. We have introduced the legendary luxury travel brand Regent in Phu Quoc and premium hotel brand Crowne Plaza in Vinh Yen – bringing the blended travel experience to Vinh Phuc province. I am also looking forward to Voco, with its charming experience, opening in Danang in 2023.

We are aligned in our inherent desire to innovate and create world-class destination concepts and experiences, bring in well-loved and globally renowned brands, and also do business responsibly. This enables us to create wonderful hotels and resorts that are sought after by travellers.

Makoto Inoue-Director of Sales and Marketing Hotel Nikko Saigon
Hotels in Vietnam 2023 the way forward
The number of staying guests has been increasing gradually since March and, currently, the number of guests are 70-80 per cent of pre-pandemic level. Guests stays around 2-3 nights on average. Hotel Nikko Saigon host more business travellers than leisure travellers. The leisure market recovery is still slow.

We will keep implementing hygiene and safety protocols to ensure providing safe environment for our guests, and focus on improving customer satisfaction by providing personalised service.

In 2023, we don’t expect many new issues but we will resume all services as before covid to retain world-class level of service.

Going abroad is always challenging for everyone due to language and cultural difference. We always try to be the best choice for Japanese travellers, providing services with our Japanese staff and experienced local staff. Next year will be an exceptional one for both Vietnam and Japan as it marks 50 years of diplomatic relations.

As a result, both countries expect several diplomatic and cultural exchange events next year, and expect much more tourist traffic between both countries. Obviously, we will expect a good impact from it and want to be a bridge connecting the two countries.

Oreste Geronimo Traetto-General manager Novotel Phu Quoc Resort
Hotels in Vietnam 2023 the way forward
A challenging 2023 is expected for the travel and tourism sector. People will reduce their spending due to high inflation and harsh economic conditions.

As a result, we need to intensify our sales and marketing. The resort has been acknowledged for the excellence of its service, taking home the Haute Grandeur award of “best resort service” for two years running. We won’t stop there, and we’re constantly searching for new ways to enhance the consumer experience.

For us, a true holiday is when you can do what you love at any time, worry and rush-free. Novotel Phu Quoc’s all-inclusive package is designed to deliver a true resort experience. Guests can enjoy their meals at any time of the day at any of the resort’s four restaurants and bars. Entertainment activities at the resort take place from morning to evening daily and are diverse for all customers, whether on holiday individually or as couples, groups, friends, or family.

Business tourism is also a potential market Novotel Phu Quoc will continue to promote. Business customers love our beach and outdoor pool area. In addition, we also have three conference rooms and a large ballroom, meeting most conference and event requirements. The cuisine is also a plus point for customers because our menu is updated frequently.

Phu Quoc was voted Asia’s top destination in 2019 and was an emerging global destination in 2020. The island still has great development potential. Today’s tourists not only go sightseeing but also aim for a resort experience to help balance life, enjoy moments of real relaxation, and discover new and interesting things.

Today’s tourists pay great attention to the value of a trip. Understanding that, we have created a comprehensive resort package, helping visitors not to worry about costs, and have a real experience. This shows the spirit of the Novotel brand towards those seeking life balance.


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