La Perla gets license for second resort in Vietnam
By Mong Binh – The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – La Perla International Living has been granted an investment certificate to develop a second residential resort project in central Vietnam in less than half a year the global property developer opened the first resort in the region.
Rudy van Bork, country director of La Perla International Living in Vietnam, told the Daily that the new project would be located near historic Hoi An City in the central province of Quang Nam.
La Perla International Living will develop 390 units in the 28-hectare residential resort that stretches 1.2 kilometers of beach on the central coast.
Van Bork said La Perla International Living was working on modes for selling the units to Vietnamese and foreign investors as well as using the residences to serve tourists who want to come to stay and explore tourist attractions in central Vietnam.
“That’s the common way of investment in Vietnam,” Van Bork said. He explained the common formula was to sell villas within the residential resort projects and allow the buyer to lease these villas back to the operator to rent them on to guests.
Van Bork said both tourism and property markets were not favorable now. “The markets work against us at the moment because the property market is cooled offâ¦ and also less tourists visit Hoi An.”
The Hoi An tourism authority reported around 1,000 international tourists visited this city every day in the winter of 2008, down nearly 30% from the year-earlier period. Last year also saw fewer visitors from the major markets including Japan, Britain and the Netherlands.
Van Bork expected both markets would recover, hopefully this year. “I’m positive. Tourism will come back soon and the property market will pick up soon.”
However, he noted, a recovery of the markets in Vietnam would depend on the global economy. He stressed Vietnam’s tourism industry would come back to strong growth before the world’s economy recovered because traveling in this country was “cheap”.
Vietnam welcomed more than 4.25 million international visitors last year, up a mere 0.6% over the previous year. Despite the current challenges, the local tourism sector is looking to some five million this year.
For the good fundamentals for future development, van Bork said La Perla International Living planned this March to start construction of 100 villas at Bai Tram Hideaway Resort project, whose seven first beachfront and sea-view villas were put into service last year.
Van Bork said the 100 new villas were scheduled for opening next year at the project covering 90 hectares in Song Cau District in the central province of Phu Yen. He added a total of 222 units, including hillside villas would be built at the two-phase project.
Again, La Perla International Living will sell the villas to investors and rent them to tourists wanting to stay at the resort, which is scheduled for full completion in the next two years. “We work with the agents that sell our units. In Asia, we work with the agents in Shanghai, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore.”
The Holland-headquartered group sells the villas at Bai Tram from US$2,250 to US$4,000 per square meter, and will publicize a price list for the units at the residential resort near Hoi An this summer, van Bork said.
Asked about the investment capital for the second project, van Bork declined to disclose it. But he told the Daily last year that La Perla International Living had projected over US$170 million for luxury seaside resort developments in central Vietnam and on Phu Quoc Island off mainland Kien Giang Province.
Bai Tram Hideaway Resort will take some US$80 million, with US$40 million of it planned for development of rooms and facilities in the first phase.
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