Rich Vietnamese spending big on local 5-star hotels

By Dat Nguyen   July 10, 2018 | 10:12 pm PT
Rich Vietnamese spending big on local 5-star hotels
View of a pool seen at a 5-star hotel in central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Nguyen
Increasing numbers of well-to-do Vietnamese citizens are choosing to stay in five-star hotels and spend lavishly when they travel within the country.

Vietnamese citizens accounted for 19.2 percent of 4-star and 5-star hotels guests in 2017, according to a report released Tuesday by global consulting firm Grant Thornton.

Although this is a slight decrease from last year’s figure of 20.8 percent, the number of domestic guests staying at upscale hotels had increased for three consecutive years from 2014 to 2016, says Grant Thornton’s “Executive Summary Hotel Survey 2018.”

These figures affirm the findings of market research firm Nielsen, which said more Vietnamese citizens are willing to spend big on fancy items and services to “enhance the quality of life.”

In the first quarter this year, 46 percent of respondents were willing to spend their spare cash on holidays, an increase of 2 percentage points from the last quarter of 2017, the Nielsen report said.

The hotel industry is witnessing a similar trend. A representative of the 5-star Hotel des Arts Saigon said that 70 percent of the hotel’s restaurant and rooftop bar customers were Vietnamese.

“There are quite a number of Vietnamese residents staying in our hotel too,” the representative told local media.

Upscale hotels are paying more attention to local customers because there is an increase in the number of Vietnamese willing to pay for premium hotel services, said Ngo Thi Xuan Thu, head of communication at the 5-star Caravelle Saigon hotel.

“Vietnamese guests are showing high demand for not just delicious food but also a luxurious setting to discuss business,” Thu said.

Young and rich people also want to show off their status by using these services, she added.

In fact, some industry insiders say that Vietnamese customers are even more willing than foreigners to spendg big on hotel services.

Statistics from upscale hotels in Hanoi, HCMC, Da Nang and Phu Quoc show that there have been months when they hosted more Vietnamese guests than international ones, said Tao Van Nghe, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Hotel Association.

Vietnamese customers spend even more than foreigners in the hotels’ restaurants, spa and sports facilities, he added.

Some tourism experts said more Vietnamese were preferring premium hotel services because the middle-income class are able to afford them now.

70 percent of Vietnam’s population is now classified as economically secure, including the 13 percent who are now part of the global middle-class, according to a World Bank report published in April.

As of last year, Vietnam had 25,600 accommodation facilities, a growth of 21.9 percent from 2016. 379 of them, or 1.4 percent, are in the 4-star-and-up category, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

Vietnam is in the midst of a tourism boom, with 12.9 million foreign visitors arriving in 2017, a rise of 29.1 percent against the previous year. The country has set a target of receiving 15-17 million foreign arrivals this year.

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