The Wafaifo Resort, a five-minute walk from Hoi An in central Vietnam, will be the first project for the ambitious hospitality consultancy firm.
|A rendering of the new Wafaifo Resort in Hoi An, which is due to open in Q1/2024 |
A new international hospitality brand and hotel called Wafaifo has been launched in central Vietnam. The company will open the 134-key lifestyle resort as part of a strategic plan that includes a new mall, hospitality asset management services, and other tourism-related projects.
Its name, Wafaifo, derives from 'wa' from water, and 'faifo', the historical name of Hoi An.
Wafaifo intends to offer hospitality project consultancy services across Indochina, drawing on the hotel industry expertise of its co-founders, managing director Pieter van der Hoeven and commercial director Mikkel Krantz.
Van der Hoeven and Krantz will work to establish the Wafaifo brand, its flagship urban resort in Hoi An, and build awareness of the diverse attractions in the area to an international audience. They will be supported by Wafaifo deputy managing director Uyen Ngo, who brings experience as the owner of a number of resorts in central Vietnam.
“We see a gap in the market for Wafaifo Resort Hoi An to establish itself as a proud and uniquely Vietnamese hospitality experience,” said Van der Hoeven. “We will also be drawing from a deep well of hotel industry understanding from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos.”
Hoeven, who has held senior executive roles at Raffles, Six Senses, Minor, and Peninsula Hotels added, “The Wafaifo Resort Hoi An will be our showcase property. It will offer a modern Vietnamese aesthetic and mind-blowing gastronomic and spa experiences for international and domestic travellers.”
The new brand will include a division called Wafaifo Optimisers, which aims to help hospitality clients launch new projects in the region and enhance operational efficiencies and profits.
While Vietnam’s tourism performance is still behind 2019 levels, there is a trend towards higher quality tourists. The Vietnam National Administration for Tourism reports that while visitor numbers to Vietnam were only 20 per cent of 2019 levels, the 2022 revenue of $19 billion still reached 70 per cent of the 2019 figure.
For the year to date, South Korea is Vietnam’s main source of tourists, with around 763,900 arrivals, followed by the US at 266,000.
“With the rebound in the travel sector, the timing is right for the launch of Wafaifo as a consolidated tourism concern,” said Krantz.
“Our analysis indicates that we can expect to see strong tourism and investment growth in Vietnam and the Indochina region over the next five or so years,” he said.
|Directors of Wafaifo, (from left to right) Mikkel Krantz, Uyen Ngo, and Pieter van der Hoeven |
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By Thanh Van