Ba Ria - Vung Tau to kick off 100 tourism projects next year
Update: Sep 06, 2012
After a two-year interruption caused by economic woes and policy changes, investors involved in some 100 tourism projects in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province have committed to launch work on them next year.

Nguyen Van Son, deputy director of the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the province is home to 154 tourism projects worth a total of VND40 trillion and US$12 billion. So far, only 30% of them have got going.


Many reasons have been given to explain the slow implementation of these projects, such as financial distress, site clearance problems and land tax adjustments. However, after multiple inspections of and license withdrawals from long-delayed projects, investors have promised to put their projects on fast track soon.


"As promised by investors, around 100 projects will get off the ground next year and their first phase might come into operation some time between 2014 and 2016," Son told the Daily.


According to Son, among the projects to be kicked off in 2013, there are huge projects like the U.S.-invested Saigon Atlantis Hotel in Chi Linh-Cua Lap worth a total of US$4.1 billion, and the Safari project of a Danish investor in Binh Chau-Phuoc Buu, which is carrying out site clearance compensation.


In the first eight months of the year, Ba Ria-Vung Tau attracted around 5.6 million tourists, up 12.9% year-on-year. Domestic tourists still made up a majority while international arrivals numbered only 230,000.


One five-star hotel, eight four-star hotels, 15 three-star hotels, three luxury villa areas, and multiple small hotels are underway in the province.


Son of the Culture, Sports and Tourism Department said the US$4.2 billion Ho Tram Strip project is now the largest tourism project in the province and southern Vietnam as a whole. When in place, the project is expected to become a magnet for international visitors to the province.


Son said the project owner plans to lure moneyed foreign tourists to the resort and has proposed developing a heliport next to the resort to make it convenient and quick to bring guests to the resort. However, the provincial government has yet to decide on this.


According to the province's Investment Promotion Center, Ho Tram Strip is being developed by Asian Coast Development Limited (ACDL) of Canada through a subsidiary named Ho Tram Project Co. Ltd in Vietnam.


The investor is finalizing the first stage being MGM Grand Ho Tram and planning to put it into service in the first quarter of next year. The first phase consists of 541 five-star rooms, a game center with 500 slot machines and 90 VIP gambling tables, and other entertainment services.


Other components such as golf course and second hotel are under construction. When the project is fully complete, it will have 1,100 five-star hotel rooms, restaurants, conference halls, golf course and other entertainment facilities.