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Vietnam hotels stay optimistic in low season

2010-07-13 (GMT + 7)

The number of international tourists to Vietnam has once again risen sharply, allowing the domestic tourism industry to maintain a high growth rate. This also helps hotels stay optimistic, even though it is the low season for receiving international tourists.

Grant Thornton, a consultancy service provider, released a report that showed 32 percent of 7500 representatives of private enterprises in Vietnam have become more confident in the hotel business this year.
The report revealed that in 2010, up to 40 percent of hotel enterprises hope that their revenue will increase by 19 percent, plus a total of 30 percent of hotels think their profit will increase by 7 percent over 2009. The difficulties of 2009 have prompted hotels to slash room rates by 31.9 percent to attract clients.
In the first half of 2010, Vietnam attracted 2.51 million international tourists, an increase of 32.6 percent in comparison with the same period of 2009. Meanwhile, the number of domestic travelers was 17 million, equal to 2/3 of the total for all of 2009.
Kenneth Atkinson, Managing Director of Grant Thornton, explained that increasing confidence in Vietnam’s hotel market is proven by foreign companies seeking opportunities to manage more hotels and new projects.
Atkinson told Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon that, in general, confidence in the hotel business is much higher than in 2009. Accor, the leading hotel management group in Europe, has announced that it will manage at least 12 hotel projects under construction in Vietnam.
Patrick Basset, Deputy President of Accor and in charge of markets in Vietnam, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan, explained that the group can see big opportunities, not only for five-star hotels, but for four and three-star hotels as well. Currently, Accor is managing 14 hotels in Vietnam, including Sofitel, MGallery, Novotel and Mercure.
Atkinson added that foreign hotel management groups want to expand operations in Vietnam this year, because the number of foreign tourists to Vietnam has increased again and domestic tourism maintains high growth rates
According to Savills Vietnam, the real estate service provider, the average hotel room occupancy of 3-5 star hotels in HO Chi Minh City was 65 percent in the second quarter of 2010, dropping from 72 percent in the first quarter. The second quarter also marks the low season for tourism in Vietnam.
Tash Tobias, Hotel Director of InterContinental Asiana Saigon Complex, agreed that hotel occupancy in the second quarter is generally lower than the first.
Tobias hopes that the occupancy of InterContinental Asiana Saigon will continue expanding every quarter in 2010 because she can see positive signs of the national economic recovery, and she believes that Vietnam is an attractive destination for foreign tourists.

Source: Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon

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