Condotel developments have become a popular trend in Vietnam’s real estate sector. Savills Vietnam has forecast that 18,000 condotel units will be added to the market over the next two years, in key tourism destinations. Most are managed by the developers but it’s been observed that many projects have begun to integrate a brand within their projects, Savills told hotel and real estate investors and industry experts at its fifth “Meet the Experts” seminar held recently in Ho Chi Minh City.
Branded residences are yet to be common in Vietnam but are considered to a good investment product in the region. “To be a good investment, from a design company point of view, it is important that the product be designed towards proper residences, with a small kitchen and decent bathrooms regardless of whether they are managed by a reputable hotel brand or independently,” Mr. Andrew Pang from Yoo Asia Ltd. told the seminar. “All the furniture within these units should also be designed to fit properly, in order to maximize the space, and should also be of good quality and fit into the overall look and feel of the brand.”
A new category of traveler was discussed, millennials, who account for 24 per cent of the global population. Vietnam has a young population and millennials accounted for 38 per cent in 2016. Millennial travelers will therefore become an important tourism and hospitality revenue source. Mr. Chavatik Wanakasemsan from the Lub d Company said these travelers tend to avoid traditional hotels and seek gateways to authentic local experiences with new friends both foreign and local.
“Sharing accommodation platforms, like Airbnb, Couch Surfing, Hostels and Poshtels, serve their needs and lifestyle,” he said. “The guest room is just part of their travel experience. A nomad, meanwhile, is a traveler who moves from one place to another and works while they are travelling. Co-working space will be their office when the need to work or conference call with clients.”
“The potential of the poshtel model is evaluated to be high,” he went on. “Based on our guest profile in all locations, Vietnamese millennials are among the Top 3 nationalities to stay at Lub d. By 2020, the millennial traveler market will see at least two-fold growth from 2018, which will create a challenge for hotels in adapting their existing products to capture the segment. We see a gap in hotel development for Lub d, which will be positioned between three and four stars.”
Another important part of hospitality is entertainment. Vietnam historically has lacked quality food and beverage (F&B) and entertainment options compared to neighboring destinations. According to Mr. Mauro Gasparotti, Director of Savills Hotels APAC, there is a general lack of understanding about how entertainment and F&B can be an incredible additional source of revenue for resorts and hotels. It also can deliver a strong identity for the properties.
He highlighted that Vietnam has experienced unprecedented growth in its hospitality sector. Most hotels and resorts have been very busy and there is a lot of construction activity going on. “Hospitality could become a very important part of Vietnam’s economy,” he said. “This is a perfect market for the development of pioneering products, so we are expecting that innovation and new trends are integrated into upcoming projects.”
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