Ba Ria-Vung Tau’s beaches discovered
The 300km coastline of Ba Ria-Vung Tau province is dotted with small beach towns, developed resorts, and idyllic destinations waiting to be discovered
The 60km coastal stretch from Vung Tau city to Xuyen Moc district is the region’s resort epicentre, boasting popular resorts and rustically charming towns.
At the head of the first section is Vung Tau, long deemed a vacation-worthy seaside destination.
Vung Tau has grown into a fully-functional city, with a well-planned transportation infrastructure, facilities, and services with a mix of luxury and more affordable lodgings.
The next stop on this stretch is Long Hai beach, which houses the award-winning resort An Hoa Residence. This resort has been internationally recognised, most notably by the 2014 World Luxury Hotel Awards in South Africa.
Remarkably, Xuyen Moc district manages to the top the first stretch of coast, with idyllic spots like Ben Cat, Ho Tram, Ho Coc, and Binh Chau. The area is known as an escape for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports for vacationers of all sorts.
Among them, Ho Tram has long been lauded for its potential. From its recognition as one of Skyscanner’s 2013 top budget destinations to the establishment of the $4.2 billion The Grand-Ho Tram Strip, its stunning white-sand beaches have continued to lure many Vietnamese and foreign tourists.
The Grand-Ho Tram Strip is a 5-star integrated resort and casino, opened in mid-2013. It features 541 rooms, on-site amenities, Vietnam’s first international-standard casino, and an 18-hole golf course. Ho Tram Project Company is fast-tracking the construction of a second hotel tower, which will bring the number of rooms in the resort to over 1,100.
Michael Kelly, executive chairman of The Grand-Ho Tram Strip, attributed Xuyen Moc’s appeal to its enviable climate, close proximity to Ho Chi Minh City, and constantly improving infrastructure.
“The local authorities are so supportive that we feel this place is our second home. Most of our 1,500 employees are diligent and dynamic local youth,” he said. “Driven by all these positives, we are committed to a long-term investment in Ba Ria-Vung Tau in particular, and Vietnam in general. So far, the company has invested over $800 million into The Grand-Ho Tram Strip.”
One of the main reasons that Xuyen Moc has become a hotspot for hospitality investors is due to provincial leaders’ efforts to develop the tourism industry.
Ngo Ba Huong, deputy director of Saigon-Binh Chau Tourist JSC, the developer of a 33-hectare hot spring resort, told VIR that his firm planned to pump VND220 billion ($9.86 million) into a 1.5km project in the area. He is confident that Xuyen Moc will continue to grow and exceed expectations.
At present, Xuyen Moc has 13 tourist attractions, supported by up-market resorts and hotels that have an average occupancy of over 50 per cent. The resorts currently in operation only account for one-third of the coastline, making for ample opportunities for new investors.
Ba Ria-Vung Tau is now home to some of most developed lodgings in Vietnam. In the third quarter of 2016, the province registers 255 major accommodations - and a total of 9,256 rooms - along with 5,000 guest houses and mini-hotels.
The province’s tourism industry generated a total revenue of over VND14.38 trillion ($64.49 million) between 2011 and 2015, and welcomed nearly 62 million visitor arrivals, of which international tourists accounted for 2.3 million.
The province also recorded revenue growth of 15.3 per cent and tourist growth of 12.6 per cent per annum in the given period, according to the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
Ho Van Loi, the department’s director, said that the tourism industry expected 17 million tourists for the whole year of 2016. Through a continued focus on sustainable coastal tourism – such as ecotourism, resorts, and MICE – Ba Ria-Vung Tau figures to grow into even more of a destination.