HONG KONG, 3 November 2017: A massive so-called integrated resort project will transform the tourism landscape of central Vietnam when it opens in 2019.
Located between Danang, Vietnam’s third-largest city, the HOIANA project is destined to become the nation’s largest integrated resort appealing to family leisure travellers golfers and gamblers.
Described as mega-tourism, entertainment and leisure developments that combine hotels, restaurants, convention centres, casinos, theme parks, and shopping centres, integrated resorts are established economic winners in Singapore, Macau and the Philippines.
Following the business model of the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas, Disneyland/Disneyworld, Melbourne’s Crown Entertainment Complex, South Africa’s Sun City, Mauritius, and the Atlantis in the Bahamas, Asia is also home to mega, profitable IRs, such as Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore and Okada in Manila.
Macau led the phenomenal transformation of a formerly sleepy Portuguese colony into ‘Asia’s Las Vegas’.
In the 10 years since the Venetian Macao opened in 2007, Macau’s casino revenue has quadrupled, from HKD55 billion to HKD217 billion last year. Despite a downturn in gaming visitors from China, revenue remains nearly five times the Vegas Strip. Macau visitor arrivals have expanded from 22 million to a projected 32 million this year.
Central Vietnam’s HOIANA project is of the same ilk. The massive USD4 billion venture will transform the quiet countryside on the outskirts of Hoi An, a world heritage town, into a vast world-class entertainment and resort complex.
The location, so close to an important World Heritage site, worries critics who fear mass tourism especially when it relies heavily on casinos to draw visitors, will have a negative impact on Hoi An’s cultural heritage.
The first phase, scheduled to open in 2019, will feature a “world-class” casino, the financial anchor for the development, a ultra luxury Rosewood Hotel and Resort, a five-star 445-room hotel and 200 buy-to-let condos.
In the vast grounds the resort will offer a championship golf course and country club designed by Robert Trent Jones II. Recreational facilities will also include a beach club and entertainment venues for live shows and events, water sports and dive centre, and a promenade packed with bars and restaurants.
HOIANA’s master development plan covers 10 to 15 years and envisages a host of secondary tourism and leisure-related projects through subsequent development phases.
The ultimate vision is to build and manage a thriving township of hotels, residential and lifestyle zones, a trendy beachfront village, convention centre, hospitality training college, water sports hub, and a giant lagoon for safe year-round swimming. It is estimated that the first phase will create 2,000 jobs for local residents.
“HOIANA is set to rank among Asia’s most renowned resort destinations, offering a self-contained world of entertainment, leisure, pleasure and luxury lifestyle,” says HOIANA’s head of business development, Amy Do. “This unrivalled, world class integrated resort and leisure playground will set a new benchmark for high-end tourism in Vietnam, bringing economic prosperity and opportunity to Quang Nam province.”
Not everyone agrees with the introduction of an integrated resort economy in an area that has so far been linked to family-run, chill-out resorts and rural cultural experiences.
An integrated resort with a casino at the heart of its operations will attract mass tourism, but with the fast cash earned from gamblers, mostly Chinese tourists, critics fear the dark side of tourism will ultimately overshadow and erode the cultural fabric of rural communities.
Located to the south of the historic town of Hoi An in Quang Nam Province of Vietnam, HOIANA is one of Asia’s largest integrated resort and tourism township projects which is being developed at a cost of USD4 billion in a joint-venture between VinaCapital, a leading investment management and real estate development firm in Vietnam, and Gold Yield Enterprises Ltd., a joint venture between the Suncity Group of Macau and a private investor from Hong Kong.