21:08 (GMT +7) - Thursday 17/08/2017

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Hospitality wins big from casinos

Released at: 14:55, 25/07/2017

Hospitality wins big from casinos

Photo: JLL

Easing of restrictions on local people entering casinos a boon for local hospitality sector, according to representative from JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group.

by Ngoc Lan

Vietnam liberalizing its gaming industry to allow local people into casinos has given the country’s growing hospitality industry an added boost, according to Mr. Frank Sorgiovanni, Head of Research, Asia Pacific, at the JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group.

The government now is allowing its citizens to gamble at two locations: Van Don and Phu Quoc Island, as part of a three-year pilot. A third site, Ho Tram, is expected to be added to the list.

The news has stirred interest among major international names such as Las Vegas Sands along with local conglomerates like the Sun Group, which has been the only Vietnamese company approved to develop a casino, in Van Don. More hotels across the country are also installing electronic gaming to boost revenues, according to the latest report from JLL.

Mr. Sorgiovanni spoke about the appeal of casinos, with Melco Crown Philippines being recognized as the best performing casino stock globally in 2017, which demonstrates that financial success can be achieved with the right planning and that this has given investors motivation to pursue such opportunities.

Betting on demographics

He pointed out that Vietnam’s “mammoth growth in domestic tourism” is a key driver of casino developments. In 2015, Vietnam catered to 57 million domestic visitors, a staggering growth rate of 48 per cent against 2014.

Moreover, a national initiative launched in 2014 entitled “Vietnamese Travel in Vietnam - Each Journey to Love the Fatherland More” was also instrumental in contributing to the growth in domestic tourism. And there’s no slowdown in sight, thanks to Vietnam’s fast-growing economy coupled with an expanding middle class that is set to grow by 18 per cent to 2020.

“Vietnam’s industrial renaissance has also driven corporate demand for hotels across the country, while visa exemptions, the introduction of new direct air routes and improved marketing efforts have boosted the its appeal to leisure travelers,” Mr. Sorgiovanni said.

Food in favor

Vietnam’s cuisine is another attraction for repeat visitors, especially from Asia, and the country is quickly becoming a “foodie” destination with a vastly improved food and beverage scene.

“The outlook for tourism and the accommodation sector is bright, with continued marketing efforts, improvements in infrastructure, and the further development of human resources and services,” Mr. Sorgiovanni said. “Foreign investors from across the region have shown significant interest in Vietnam over the past 18 months, with the country becoming one of the most talked about markets in Asia Pacific.”

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