News that Vietnam is liberalising its gaming industry to let locals into casinos has given the country’s growing hospitality industry an added boost.
The government is allowing Vietnamese locals to gamble at two locations – the first in Van Don and the other on Phu Quoc Island – as part of a three year pilot scheme. A third site in Ho Tram is expected to be added to the list.
The news has stirred the interest of international big names such as Las Vegas Sands along with local conglomerates like Sun Group, which has so far been the only Vietnamese company approved to develop a casino in Van Don.
And, more hotels across the country are installing electronic gaming to boost revenues, according to the latest report from JLL.
“With Melco Crown Philippines being recognised as the best performing casino stock globally in 2017, it demonstrates that financial success can be achieved with the right planning and has given investors motivation to pursue such opportunities,” explains Frank Sorgiovanni, Head of Research, Hotels and Hospitality JLL APAC on the appeal of casinos.
Betting on demographics
Sorgiovanni points out that Vietnam’s “mammoth growth in domestic tourism” is a key driver for Casino developments. In 2015, Vietnam registered 57 million domestic visitors, a staggering 48 percent growth from the previous year. A national initiative launched in 2014 and themed “Vietnamese travel in Vietnam – Each journey to love the fatherland more” has also been 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 population that is set to grow by 18 percent till 2020.
“Vietnam’s industrial renaissance has also driven corporate demand for hotels across the country, whilst visa exemptions, the introduction of new direct air routes and improved marketing efforts have boosted the its appeal to leisure travellers,” adds Sorgiovanni.
Vietnam’s gastronomical offerings are proving a further attraction for repeat visitors, especially from Asia, says Sorgiovanni. “The country is quickly becoming a ‘foodie’ destination with a vastly improving food and beverage scene,” he says.
“The outlook for tourism and the accommodation sector is bright with continued marketing efforts, improvements to infrastructure and further development of human resources and services,” says Sorgiovanni. “Foreign investors from across the region have shown significant interest in Vietnam over the past 18 months – the country has becoming one of the most talked about markets in Asia Pacific.”