Banyan Tree’s US$900m Vietnam resort on track for phase one development

Hospitality group Banyan Tree is on track to develop one of Vietnam’s largest integrated resorts.

The phase one development of its US$900 million beachfront project Laguna Hue will commence on Saturday with a groundbreaking ceremony.

The Singapore-listed company raised US$283 million for the project through a real estate fund established in 2008.

When the first phase of the 280-hectare project is completed in 2012, there will be two resorts — an 18-hole golf course designed by British golfer Nick Faldo, and residential apartments for sale.

When fully completed, the project will add five more resorts as well as convention and shopping facilities.

Banyan Tree aims to replicate the success of its flagship Phuket resort, and gain a foothold in the growing IndoChina tourism industry.

Laguna Hue will be the largest hospitality investment by a Singapore-based company into Vietnam.

Executive chairman, Banyan Tree Holdings, Ho Kwon Pin, said: “We see the market for Laguna Hue to be very similar to the market for Laguna Phuket. There will be guests from Asia, like China, Japan, Hong Kong, and a lot from Europe also.”

Banyan Tree said both resorts in Vietnam and Phuket will leverage on each other to create a stronger brand alliance such as in destination cross-marketing, events, and sales distribution.

The company said the economic crisis turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the project.

Ho said: “The global downturn affected the speed of our fundraising for the US$300 million by a few months, but at the same time, we’re building now because construction costs are a lot lower.

“By the time the Banyan Tree and the Angsana Hotel, which is phase one of the project, open, that will be about two years from now. We think that’s the time the world economy will be going strong, and we will be riding the wave, so we think the timing is very good.”

Laguna Hue is an hour’s drive from both Danang and Hue International Airports.

The location offers a unique attraction with two nearby UNESCO world heritage sites, Hoi An and Vietnam’s ancient capital of Hue. The development is expected to generate some 6,000 jobs for the residents of Hue and its neighbouring provinces.

Over the next few quarters, Banyan Tree will continue to push ahead with its expansion plans, with resort and hotel openings expected in Hangzhou, China; Bali, Indonesia; Ras Al Khaimah, UAE and Acapulco, Mexico.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 31 Jul 2009

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