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Can Tho looks to develop tourism

2009-10-12 (GMT + 7)

The tourism property market in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta city of Can Tho is becoming increasingly attractive to real-estate investors since the Viet Nam Tourism Property Association signed a memorandum of understanding with the city’s authority.

The association plans to invest about US$1 billion in tourism infrastructure in the city. In addition, Phu Quoc Dong A Real Estate JSC in conjunction with Starbay Holdings Group plans to pour $2 billion into developing city’s tourism sector.

Can Tho City has many advantages when it comes to the tourism property market. "It is a new emerging market that has only been partially exploited," said Than Thanh Vu, chairman of Phu Quoc Dong A Real Estate JSC.

The city is famed for its network of small islands such as Au isle, Cai Khe Khuong isle and Son isle. Other tourist attractions include Ninh Kieu Port, Cai Rang floating market and Bang Lang stork garden.

Economic development in the city has been stable, despite the global financial crisis. In 2004-08, the annual average growth rate was 15.64 per cent per year.

The tourism sector in the city is so buoyant that demand for accommodation outstrips supply. Up to the end of 2008, the city had just 154 hotels and 21 entertainment and tourism centres. There is no five-star hotel in the city.

The local authority is making efforts to attract investors. During 2006-18, city authorities plan to implement 18 tourism projects.

However, the city lacks transport infrastructure, according to Vu, who has to regularly travel from Can Tho to Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

To travel by road the 200km journey takes six hours. "The lack of transport infrastructure is discouraging investors," Vu said.

Potential investors agree that the city needs investment in infrastructure, which includes Can Tho, Tra Noc and Cai Cui ports.

In addition, they said the city needed to appeal more to the high-end tourists, as other cities have done.

Source: VietNamNet/VNS

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