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|Improved transport infrastructure will help advance the province’s tourism potential, Photo: Trong Tin|
After many years actively developing its transport system, the provincial Phan Thiet city and the town of Mui Ne are setting themselves up to become the leading hospitality markets in the region.
Constructing and expanding a range of transport projects has helped the province attract investors into property development, and entice international and domestic tourists.
Important infrastructure facilities such as Dau Giay-Phan Thiet Highway and Phan Thiet Airport are seeing good progress after initial lengthy delays.
The Ministry of Transport has announced the investment plan for the highway, which will begin construction in 2020 with investment capital of VND15 trillion ($652 million). This project will shorten the driving time from Ho Chi Minh City from four hours to two and a half hours.
The expressways from Nha Trang to Phan Thiet have been 50 per cent cleared and are expected to be started at the end of the year. When complete, they will help Phan Thiet become a hotspot of the triangle for tourism which includes Ho Chi Minh City, Phan Thiet, Dalat, and Nha Trang.
According to Adam Bury, senior vice president of Investment Sales Asia at JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group, Phan Thiet has an increasingly developing transport system, and is now attracting a huge number of tourists. Meanwhile, Phan Thiet Airport is under the final planning stages and expected to be operational in 2022.
“The Vietnamese government has approved to build the airport with investment capital up to VND10 trillion ($435 million). It will be one of the three largest airports in the central region, after Cam Ranh and Danang,” Bury said.
Expected to be under construction at the end of 2019, Phan Thiet Airport will have a capacity of two million passengers per year. It will provide direct flights to and from destinations, instead of transiting via Ho Chi Minh City as previously.
“When the road system and the incoming airport are finished, Phan Thiet will become one of the most attractive destinations for the whole tourism sector in Vietnam,” Bury said. “I am absolutely confident in the potential and future of the tourism development of Phan Thiet city and Mui Ne town. There is still much room for development right here.”
Phan Thiet-Mui Ne now has around 3,000 hotel rooms in the four- to five-star range, a modest number compared to Khanh Hoa (19,000 rooms), Quang Ninh (6,000 rooms), and Danang (17,500 rooms).
Last year, Binh Thuan province received 5.8 million tourists, with the city also named the third-largest coastal city of Vietnam in tourist numbers, just behind Nha Trang, and Danang.
The province as a whole expects that it will receive around nine million tourists annually by 2025.