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U.S. investors sign tourism MOUs with Ninh Thuan

By Dao Loan - The Saigon Times Daily
Tuesday,  Thg5 22,2012,20:36 (GMT+7)
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By Dao Loan - The Saigon Times Daily

Tourists watch an artisan creating a pottery product in Ninh Thuan. The province last year welcomed some 820,000 visitors and now its is attracting foreign investment into many tourism projects in the locality - Photo: Dao Loan
HCMC – U.S. investors on Monday signed two memorandums of understanding with Ninh Thuan Province after spending time surveying sites of high tourism potential in the south-central localities.

Billionaire Mike Ryan from the Cayman Islands, who is the owner of the five-star Ritz Carlton Hotel, clinched the agreement with Ninh Thuan to develop tourism service facilities there, including a hotel similar to the Ritz Carlton Hotel, said Ho Si Son, vice director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Son said this MOU was signed after U.S. entrepreneurs had explored sites for building high-end resorts including areas around Vinh Hy-Nui Chua and Ca Na beauty spots. The trip to Ninh Thuan was arranged by a Vietnamese American.

Meanwhile, Bob Livingston, founder and chairman of Livingston Group LLC, also struck an MOU promising to introduce more U.S. investors to the province.

Besides the two MOUs, these investors also pledged to draw more visitors to Vietnam.

“This is the first time such big American investors have come to Ninh Thuan to sound out tourism potentials and sign MOUs with the local government,” Son told the Daily on Monday.

The south-central province is home to 50 tourism projects, but only two of them are foreign-invested ones. Now it is focusing on calling for investment into high-quality projects from foreign investors but the result is still modest.

“Given the small number of tourism investors and the inactiveness of a number of registered schemes, we are trying to appeal to large investors who are strong enough to realize the projects,” Son added.

Ninh Thuan last year attracted around 820,000 travelers, most of them being locals.

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