Nha Trang hotels up for sale as Covid puts paid to tourism

By Long Bui   June 27, 2021 | 05:15 pm PT
Nha Trang hotels up for sale as Covid puts paid to tourism
A beach in Nha Trang Town, central Khanh Hoa Province, is deserted on August 2, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc.
Hit hard by the successive waves of Covid-19, hotel owners in tourism hotspot Nha Trang are putting up their properties for sale on realty forums.

Many hotels, struggling to survive the second and third Covid-19 waves, then further weakened by the fourth starting April 27, are now available for sale. They have price tags of VND20-300 billion ($0.9-13 million), but are mostly in the VND30-70 billion range.

Most are in the downtown area on streets like Tran Phu, Hung Vuong, Tran Quang Khai, Pham Van Dong, and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai.

A seven-story hotel with 19 rooms on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Road is now available for sale at VND30 billion. "The hotel is a few dozen meters from the beach, and was built a few years ago," its owner said on a forum.

The owner of a newer hotel said: "Our hotel operated for only two months and then stopped due to Covid-19. I want to sell it to repay bank loans and engage in another field of business because I think that the pandemic will prolong."

Chairman of Nha Trang Tourism Association Hoang Van Vinh said at a recent conference that since the pandemic broke out, 95 percent of hotels in Nha Trang have closed down, with the remainder mostly operating as temporary Covid-19 quarantine facilities.

A similar gloomy picture has been reported in other tourism hotspots, including Vung Tau, Hoi An and Da Nang.

According to insiders, in 2015-19, the heyday of Nha Trang’s tourism and property sectors, many non-tourism businesses and wealthy individuals built or bought hotels in the city and hired people to run them.

However, since 2020, after tourism has been devastated by Covid with almost no international arrivals and few domestic travelers, many have been forced to sell out to cut losses.

Some two- and three-star properties with 50 rooms or fewer are on sale partly because they face fierce competition from condotels, Phan Viet Hoang, general secretary of the Khanh Hoa Real Estate Brokerage Association, said, pointing out that few four- and five-star hotels are being sold.

According to the Khanh Hoa Province Tourism Department, there were only 210,000 visitors in the first quarter of 2021, a year-on-year drop of nearly 67.3 percent. The number of foreigners was down 97.6 percent to 10,000, all people stranded due to Covid.

Hotels in the province reported an occupancy rate of just 8.6 percent during the quarter.

As of the end of last year Khanh Hoa had over 1,100 tourist accommodation establishments with nearly 50,000 rooms, including 125 hotels rated between three and five stars with 24,000 rooms.

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