Why did CEO Group choose seaside tourism real estate as the key investment strategy?
Tran Dao Duc: Since 2018, CEO Group focuses on five major industries, in which resort real estate plays an important part.
According to statistics, 75 per cent of international visitors to Vietnam and 55 per cent of total domestic tourists choose seaside destinations. Only 28 coastal provinces and cities make up more than 70 per cent of the total tourism revenue of Vietnam. The occupancy rate of hotel rooms and the business performance of resorts are always positive. These facts and figures show the significance of sea tourism in Vietnam’s tourism industry.
However, the modern facilities and world-class accomodation are still limited here. Hence, CEO Group decided to focus on this potential market.
Why did CEO Group choose Van Don, Cam Ranh and Phu Quoc for investment?
Tran Dao Duc: Coastal localities always lead in the ones with the highest tourism revenue. CEO Group selected Phu Quoc, Nha Trang and Van Don as the first locations for investment because of their beauty. They are also symbols of three regions of Vietnam: North - Central – South, and they enjoy favourable natural conditions.
These localities are given priority in developing modern technical infrastructure, especially large international airports. Famous as they are, there is still much room left for development.
Local authorities here also enthusiasitically call for investment. Hence, we highly appreciate the potential of tourism and seaside tourism real estate in these areas.
Did the delay of the draft law on Special Administrative-Economic Units affect the plan of the CEO Group?
Tran Dao Duc: Yes, it did, but not much. As I said, CEO Group decided to invest in Phu Quoc or Van Don due to the development potential of tourism in these localities.
Please tell us the advantages and disadvantages of investing in coastal areas.
Tran Dao Duc: Coastal areas are often blessed with beautiful landscapes, so they can easily become a "resort paradise" that attracts secondary investors as well as visitors in the future.
However, they also have to cope with some difficulties such as geographic location and natural factors which cost a lot of money and effort for construction. The investment cost in Phu Quoc, for example, is about 20 per cent higher than in the mainland. The maintenance and operation costs are also exorbitant, and the workforce for resorts always suffers a shortage of professional and multilingual staff.
However, the appeal of this market will not make the visionary investors falter.
In fact, did the early investment results of CEO Group in Phu Quoc live up to your expectation?
Tran Dao Duc: Phu Quoc is an important market which has contributed significantly to the success of CEO Group. Currently, CEO Group is one of the three most prominent investors in Phu Quoc.
Sonasea Villas & Resort in Phu Quoc has been successfully operated, including Novotel Phu Quoc Resort with 750 five-star hotel rooms with a very high occupancy rate. Novotel Villas show impressive business performances. The walking street Sonasea Shopping Center (phase 1) after coming into operation has also become one of the must-visit spots for visitors to Phu Quoc.
Apartments and villas in Phu Quoc Best Western Premier also have good business results. By the end of this year, this project will be operated under the famous brand Best Western Premier of the United States. We firmly believe in the success of this project.
In your opinion, what is the secret for a seaside tourism project to be successful in both real estate business and tourism revenue?
Tran Dao Duc: The most important point is the prime location which meets the needs of secondary investors and visitors in the future. We should carefully select the timing to become the pioneer investors.
Besides, we should make the most out of the incentives of investment procedures in such localities.
We should select the investor, the design unit, the contractor, and the operation unit in line with the objectives of the project. The quality and the construction schedule should comply with the commitment.