The Anam Mui Ne officially opened its doors in January, hot on the heels of the success of The Anam Cam Ranh. How will The Anam Mui Ne contribute to Vietnam’s tourism industry?
Mui Ne is a local destination in Phan Thiet city, Binh Thuan province that people like to visit on the weekends. With the opening of the Dau Giay - Phan Thiet Expressway at the end of April, rather than taking four and a half hours to travel by road from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet, the trip now takes just two and a half hours. We aim to have a good market mix of not only local tourists but also visitors from Germany, Switzerland, Russia, and China. I am happy to say that both resorts were fully booked during the recent national holiday at the end of April and we also welcomed many international tourists.
The Anam Cam Ranh has long been in the top 25 hotels in Southeast Asia, and few other local resorts feature on such lists. This is quite an achievement. With The Anam Mui Ne, we have been blessed with a lot of recognition from international media such as CNN, Bloomberg, and Forbes magazine, etc., which have all listed The Anam as being a place to visit in 2023, and it is the only resort in Vietnam to be mentioned. I think such achievements not only help The Anam Cam Ranh and The Anam Mui Ne but also help Vietnam become an attractive destination on the global tourism map.
We are now heading into the high season, in June, July, and August, in Mui Ne and Cam Ranh. We have a lot of returning guests at The Anam Cam Ranh, and this will be the case with The Anam Mui Ne, but we will we have to work hard with Western media.
How do you view Vietnam’s tourism industry post-pandemic? What about its potential in 2023?
Vietnam did very well handling Covid-19 and was one of the first countries to reopen its borders. The country also has a lot of potential for tourists, such as beautiful beaches and mountains, etc., and two beautiful main cities - Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. When tourists from Europe visit Vietnam, they want to visit cities and places such as Ha Long Bay, Da Nang, and Da Lat, etc. Vietnamese food is also wonderful. I think there are major opportunities to attract more tourists, but the challenges are well known. The visa situation is currently quite difficult in Vietnam. Foreign tourists can get only obtain a 15-day visa on arrival, which may put off many from coming here.
At The Anam Cam Ranh and The Anam Mui Ne, I can see that South Korean tourists are retuning and we are fortunate to have them. And over the past two or three months, the European market has been gradually recovering. Many airlines, not only Vietnam Airlines but also Qatar and Emirates, are starting to increase their flights to Vietnam, with two or so a week, and that is a good sign. I feel positive about tourism in Vietnam in 2023.
What is the difference between The Anam’s resorts and the competition?
Our Chairman is very particular about the style and that the furniture at our resorts is designed and made in Vietnam. Every furniture idea comes from Vietnamese culture, and every painting in each room at our resorts is custom-made by Vietnamese artists. Every detail in each room reminds tourists that they are in Vietnam.
And we also want to provide a good atmosphere for our guests. For example, at The Anam Cam Ranh, we have a large green lawn and our guests really like the smell of fresh-cut grass when they visit. So that is something very special. We also pay a lot of attention to our gardens. If you look at the gardens at The Anam Mui Ne, you would not think that we had just opened a few months ago because everything is so lush and green. The resort’s eco-friendly key cards are also made from wood that has been sourced from sustainably-managed forests. We prioritize products that are environmentally friendly in our resorts and are trying to get away from plastic as much as possible.
What do you think about the support the Vietnamese Government has provided to the tourism industry?
The government has been extremely supportive. I know that it is planning to extend visa periods for tourists and to make it easier for them to come to Vietnam. And it is also very open to new ideas and new suggestions on promoting the tourism industry. Vietnam has almost 100 million people, which makes it powerful and gives it potential. And that is something for Vietnamese to be proud of.
Do you have any plans to expand The Anam elsewhere in Vietnam?
At The Anam Cam Ranh, we are completing AXI Plaza, which is a convention center with a retail shopping center and a few restaurants and a rooftop bar. We are planning to open the Plaza by July and would like it to be fully operational by the end of the year.
And we are planning to have a wonderful project in south-central Phu Yen province, and our plan is to build two resorts, one of which will have The Anam name and the other will be an international brand. These resorts are going to be pool villas only, and all will have sea views. We are aiming to be the first resort in Vietnam to have villas over water.