#Vietnam hotel sector has room for growth
Hilton Worldwide Inc will expand its brand in Vietnam into mid-market, opening Southeast Asia’s first Hilton Garden Inn in Hanoi’s historic French Quarter in October. The company sees potential for Garden Inns in as many as 10 Vietnamese locales.
Hilton joins Accor SA, InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc in having opened or considering expanding into mid-tier hotels in Vietnam.
The moves come as a growing Vietnamese middle class begins to travel for business and leisure, boosting demand for a fully developed industry with a range of choices for every travel budget.
Vietnam has now reached a level that the World Bank calls "lower middle-income", with annual per-capita gross domestic product more than tripling over the last decade to US$1,374 last year, based on International Monetary Fund figures.
Accor, whose range in Vietnam includes the high-end Sofitel and mid- range Novotel, plans to debut its budget Ibis brand here as early as this month. Three Ibis hotels are planned among its range of about 20 in Vietnam by 2015.
International visitors to Vietnam grew 25 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, topping last year’s 19 per cent increase, based on data from the General Statistics Office in Hanoi. Last year’s visitors surpassed six million for the first time and this year the number may surpass seven million.
The average occupancy rate in Vietnamese hotels was 63.5 per cent in 2011, higher than in China, India or Thailand, according to Asia-Pacific Hotel Review by London-based research group STR Global. The number fell from 65 per cent in 2010.
IHG is considering bringing its Holiday Inn mid-tier brand to Vietnam and is assessing the market for Holiday Inn Express.
Starwood, which has three Sheratons in Vietnam and plans to open a luxury Le Meridian here this year, is in talks to debut its mid-tier Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft brands in Vietnam.
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