Like other property segments, entertainment property projects play an important role in the market as it, besides bringing profits for developers and offering services to communities, will support significantly to the development of the tourism industry.
Some visitors enjoy Suoi Tien amusement park in HCMC’s District 9 - Photo: Dinh Dung
Thanks to having developed large-scale theme parks, some countries have become more popular in tourists’ hearts and minds, attracting thousands of visitors every year.
However, developing entertainment projects with support facilities attractive enough to lure local and international visitors is a problem that requires adequate investment and market research for most property developers.
Speaking at a property conference and exhibition Vietnam International Real Estate Connection (VIREC), hosted by G4B Branding Real Estate Marketing Company in HCMC last week, Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said Vietnam was a popular destination for international visitors. This was proved by the increasing number of international arrivals every year, as well as the increase in the number of local tourists.
Tuan said the country’s tourism industry strategy was shifting towards being more competitive. Therefore, developing leisure property projects would contribute to supporting the sector, going along with the orientation of the country’s tourism development strategy set by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Thibault Paquin, principal of the Hong Kong-based company Celebrating Life Asia, shared experiences to participants at the event themed ‘Modern Entertainment Investment Inspires the Next Development’ and said that the leisure industry had changed a lot with many entertainment projects underway.
Paquin said among Asian countries, China with huge yearly revenue from the local tourism market had developed some large theme parks in the country. Countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia were going ahead with their plans to develop amusement projects.
He presented participants with three model investments, saying privately developed projects were often small in scale and generate low profits to developers.
Meanwhile in the second model, local government would support developers by offering land with infrastructure development.
International investors often chose this model thanks to having support from local government; however, it sometimes required longer negotiations with local authorities. In the third model investment, a developer would develop land and infrastructure, and then invite other partners to jointly develop the project.
Looking to the current situation in Vietnam, he suggested local developers should combine the first and third models to develop an entertainment project.
In fact, local group Khang Thong has called for partners to invest in its entertainment complex which covers 266 hectares along the Vam Co Dong River in Long An Province’s Ben Luc District.
The USD2 billion Happy Land project, which is likened to the world’s famous resorts such as Disneyland or Universal Studio, will include leisure and water parks, commercial centers, three-to-five-star hotels, restaurants, discotheques, and indoor and outdoor theaters.
Luke Riley, Asian regional director for Sanderson Group International, said there were certain aspects developers should not overlook, including market research and feasibility studies and adequate investment.
Site and area evaluation, demographic assessment, competitor analysis and forecast attendance figures are what a developer should do before rolling up its sleeves to develop an entertainment project. He said adequate investment will help developers swiftly return on investment.
Paquin said that China spent 10 years trying to attract international theme park developers to the country, and wondered whether Vietnam could and should attract foreign developers now.
Tong Van Nga, vice chairman of the Vietnam Real Estate Association, said the developing entertainment project required a specific plan; and each region has its own characters, thus a theme park project should be developed based on those characters.
He, however, said that there was still a long way to go before Vietnam calls for international investors to develop the entertainment industry.