Recreational potential not being realised

June 18, 2012 | 09:44
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Vietnam’s vast potential for recreational properties remains underdeveloped.

Themed parks are increasingly looked at as a lucrative investment segment in Asia with a string of such venues like Disneyland in Hong Kong, Universal Studios in Singapore and Disney Park in Shanghai (China) springing into life.

Several recreational property models have come into existence in Vietnam in the past years like Dam Sen Park and Suoi Tien resort in Ho Chi Minh City, Thuy Cung (Under water world) in Nha Trang or Thien Duong Bao Son in Hanoi. These venues have succeeded in blending landscapes and traditional values with several cutting-edge entertainment techniques to woo visitors.

However, these themed entertainments have exposed a number of shortcomings.

“Most entertainment sites in Vietnam fail to create their peculiarity and reflect imitation of ideas,” said Vietnam National Administration of Tourism’s (VNAT) Institute of Tourism Development Research deputy director Pham Trung Luong.

Luong said with around 90 million residents and prevailing advantages in picturesque landscapes, long coastline and cultural diversity Vietnam had vast potential for tourism.

“For these potentials to translate into practical benefits, VNAT has completed the planning of more than 40 potential resorts across the country to lure investment with stable incentives particularly in respect to infrastructure development,” said Luong.

Goddard Group chairman Gary Goddard said themed entertainment centres linking with discoveries would have room for strong development in Vietnam in the forthcoming period.

Ministry of Planning and Investment figures show that from 1998-2008 Vietnam’s tourism accommodated 431 foreign direct investment projects worth $18.6 billion in total committed capital. Most projects, however, focused on hotels, while entertainment attracted little attention.

That was partly due to the lack of concrete incentives to recreational properties investment, particularly sensitive forms like casinos or betting relevant to sports.

By Tang Trien

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