Infrastructure improvement helps Phan Thiet city boost tourism
Update: May 14, 2021
The infrastructure and local attractions development in the beach city Phan Thiet in the south-central province of Binh Thuan needs to ensure the balance of supply and demand.
Massive investments by local and international brands in high-end resort and entertainment complexes have brought a new appearance to Phan Thiet city in the southern province of Binh Thuan.
Numerous branded hotel operators such as Absolute Hotel Services, Accor, Azerai, Centara Hotels & Resorts, Minor Hotels, Radisson Hotel Group and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts have been on their way setting their footprints in the province with signed management agreements and properties under construction. 
The perspective of the Apec Mandala Wyndham Mui Ne, Binh Thuan province.
The presence of branded properties is expected to add further appeals by offering higher-quality products and help local destinations to be better viewed by foreign tourists. Among them, four projects are currently under construction and slated to complete by 2023. Two out of the four, including NovalandWorld and Nam Long Group-invested Thanh Long Bay, in the pipeline are integrated resorts, providing a wide range of accommodation and entertainment choices. 
Phan Thiet city has always been a fantastic destination for beach getaways from HCMC and other nearby provinces. Mauro Gasparotti, Director of Savills Hotels APAC, told Hanoitimes.
He said it used to be one of the first high-quality beachfront resort locations, developed at a time when the beach city Danang, the south-central province of Khanh Hoa and Phu Quoc city offered a limited number of beachfront resorts. 
However, he said Phan Thiet is largely underdeveloped with a limited supply available, the majority of which, occupied the small-scale and owner-operated resort space. “Domestic demand accounted for almost 90% of total overnight visitors in the pre-Covid-19 period.”
In the 2015-20 period, the market witnessed a very limited new supply, with only five new projects. Based on Savills Hotels’ report, as of March, 51 midscale-and-above projects provide 5,800 rooms in accommodation supply. If comparing with Khanh Hoa province or the beach city Danang, this approximates 20% and 30% of their supply, respectively. 
From a business’ point, Louis Walters, Managing Director of Sailing Club Leisure Group said that Ho Chi Minh City-based visitors have been favoring Phan Thiet-Mui Ne during the Covid-19 period for its ease and safety as a weekend getaway. 
He commented that the good news is improvements being made to infrastructure such as the HCMC-Phan Thiet expressway, and the upcoming airport will see a dramatic increase in local and overseas arrivals.
Lack of master plan
Ke Ga Bay beach in Phan Thiet city. Photo: Azerai
Henry Gray, Executive Director of Azula International PTE Ltd (Azerai) said that Phan Thiet is generally considered a short stay destination, mainly for one-or-two-night stays. 
Although there have been many projects under development, they lack of diversity in terms of master plan and models to exploit the tourism potential and the local characteristics.
“Building more resorts and mixed-use projects to compete with other local destinations, without considering infrastructure and local attractions, may result in an imbalance of supply and demand,” Gray commented.
He recommended that, tourism infrastructure in the area needs further development. More restaurants, bars, retail, water-sports, and other tourist related services are needed to deliver a more rounded tourism experience.
“Furthermore, greater development of public facilities is needed to complement the needs of a tourist destination, including medical, transportation, sanitization, and security/policing,” Gray added. 
Over the past years, Binh Thuan has created conditions to attract capital flows from individual investors and businesses to promote the local economy, as tourism is one of the leading industries of the province. 
The presence of resort complex projects with many facilities such as international standard golf course, leisure and sport activities is expected to increase diversity to the local tourism industry and longer lengths of stay, according to Mauro.
However, in the medium and long term, it is imperative that developers and local authorities work closely with business consultants, qualified designers and advisors to ensure sustainability of the area, Mauro suggested.
Source: hanoitimes