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Investors still interested in tourism sector
By Dao Loan - The Saigon Times Daily
Wednesday,  Dec 30, 2009,15:14 (GMT+7)

Investors still interested in tourism sector

By Dao Loan - The Saigon Times Daily

HCMC – Despite the financial crisis, more foreign investors are interested in tourism projects in the country. The sector accounts for 44.7% of total foreign direct investment into Vietnam in January-November, says a report.

According the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), as of November there had been 31 new Vị trí đặt quảng cáoprojects registered for tourist accommodations and food and beverage with total investment pledged at US$5 billion. Another eight projects have increased capital to over US$3.8 billion.

“Total new investment of the services reached US$8.8 billion, making up around 44.7% of total foreign direct investment into the country,” the report said.

The report mentions that the flow of developing tourism projects is increasing with investors still registering to build high-class hotels and resorts instead of entertainment service projects.

The comment is similar to the view of Pham Trung Luong, deputy director of the Vietnam Institute for Tourism Development Research, at a seminar in HCMC in September.

The researcher said Vietnam’s hospitality sector was facing an imbalance. Foreign investors are registering for hotels and tourism real estate projects while the industry also needs entertainment services to cater to travelers.

He said that up to 2008, over 80% of the 307 foreign direct investment projects in the tourism industry were hotel projects.

According to VNAT, as of November the country had 10,900 tourist accommodations with over 215,000 rooms, including 315 three-to five-star hotels and resorts with over 33,600 rooms.

The department forecast that the hospitality sector this year would receive 3.8 million foreign visitors, down nearly 11% year-on-year, and 25 million domestic travelers, up 19% compared to last year. Tourism revenue is expected to grow 6.5 %-9% to VND68-70 trillion.

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