Vietnam’s visitor push backed up by 140-hotel pipeline

Pictured: rendering of Swissôtel Hai Phong Riverfront.
Vietnam’s government is striving to attract more international visitors for lengthier stays, in the wake of at least 140 high end hotels poised to boost the country’s portfolio.

According to the THP database, the pipeline will deliver a minimum of 45,544 extra keys to the southeast Asian nation, representing a collective investment of US$7.4 billion.

Visitor drive

This month, Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism approved increasing visitors’ temporary stay duration from 15 days to 45 days for citizens of 13 countries. Accordingly, visa waivers will be applied for citizens of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, UK, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Belarus, regardless of passport type or entry purpose.

Simultaneously, the national administration is aiming to make entry to the country a smoother process by issuing e-visas to citizens of all countries and territories passing through 13 each of major airports and seaports, as well as 16 land border crossings.

Capital hotspot

These travel simplifications will likely increase both tourist and business visitor numbers, and so Vietnam will require a strong high end hotel pipeline to accommodate demand.

Out of the 140 premium projects currently recorded by THP, geographically, capital city Hanoi is leading the way with 15 sites, while Vietnam’s most populous metropolis, Ho Chi Minh City is runner up on 11. Hoi An and Da Nang make the podium with 10 upcoming hotels apiece.

New and upscale

A total of 95% of high end hotel projects are newbuilds, equivalent to 133 sites, with just three conversions and four refurbishments in our records currently.

There’s a slight preference for upscale developments over luxury additions, in a 56 to 44% ratio, representing 78 four star hotels as against 62 five stars.

Near future peak

Around 59% of the high end hotel pipeline is currently under construction, equivalent to 82 sites, plus a further 12 properties are in a pre-opening stage. Further back in the project process, another 30 hotels are in planning, with 15 in pre-planning and just one at a vision phase.

This pattern is mirrored in the opening dates apex, with 59 constructions due to complete in 2024 and another 30 arriving in 2025. Both in the rest of this year and in 2026 a further 13 projects each are scheduled to finish. The remaining 25 hotels are either due further in the future or are yet to be designated a delivery date.

Big brand leaders

Three of the biggest international hotel groups are topping the table for high end Indonesian hotel developments. Accor heads the pack on at least 25 sites, while IHG Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International were in a close battle to round out the podium, on a minimum of 13 and 12 projects, respectively.

Individual brands sharing the top spot with four projects apiece are Absolute Hotel Services’ U Hotels & Resorts, Meliá Hotels International’s Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Accor’s Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts and Minor Hotel Group’s Avani.

Projects to watch

One of the forthcoming Accor additions is Swissôtel Hai Phong Riverfront will take inspiration from the brand’s Swiss roots, offering a range of revitalising concepts centred around craftsmanship, sustainability and vitality when it opens in Q2 2024.

Meanwhile, Marriott is due to welcome a mammoth dual-branded development in Ho Chi Minh City, delivering 2,100 keys. JW Marriott Hotel Ho Chi Minh City Grand Marina and Ho Chi Minh City Grand Marina Marriott Hotel will arrive as part of a mixed-use development in Q4 2024.