VietNamNet Bridge – Sun Group has committed to investing over VND20 trillion (US$887.5 million) to develop an airport and other projects in Lao Cai Province at a tourism investment promotion conference for the northwestern region in HCMC on November 23.



Tran Hung Viet (L), general director of Saigontourist Holding Company, gets an investment certificate from a leader of Bac Kan Province for a Saigon-Ba Be tourism project in the northern province at a tourism investment promotion conference in HCMC on November 23 – Photo: Dao Loan 


Sun Group plans to build more than 8,000 hotel rooms in addition to an airport in the northern mountainous province. Besides Sun Group, other domestic enterprises including Saigontourist Holding Company said it would carry out major tourism projects in the region at the event jointly organized by the Steering Committee for the Northwestern Region, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the HCMC government.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and leaders of the 14 northwestern provinces, the ministries of culture-sports-tourism and transport, and the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) attended the conference.

Sun Group clinched a cooperation program for huge projects in Lao Cai in 2016-2020. They include a VND10-trillion complex comprising a Sapa cable car system, about 6,000 hotel rooms of three to five-star standards, and convention and shopping facilities; a five-star hotel worth VND1.2 trillion in the resort town of Sapa; an entertainment-hotel-conference complex worth VND4 trillion; and the Lao Cai airport project worth over VND5.6 trillion.

Saigontourist Holding Company got an investment certificate to implement Saigon-Ba Be tourism project at a total cost of over VND130 billion in Bac Kan Province.

Banks pledged to provide loans for seven tourism projects at the conference.

The northwestern region holds great potential for tourism but underdeveloped transportation infrastructure and a lack of funding are among the reasons for the reluctance of investors to come there for business.

Deputy Prime Minister Phuc requested the SBV and the transport ministry to provide information about funding sources for transport infrastructure in the region.

The SBV said investment activity in the region is limited. As of September 30, outstanding loans for tourism projects in the region had totaled less than VND2 trillion (US$88.9 million) compared to over VND163 trillion lent to all sectors in the region.

But credit for the tourism sector in the region has begun to rise, especially eco-tourism. Outstanding loans for eco-tourism have gone up from only VND22 billion in late 2014 to over VND1.4 trillion this year.

The SBV said it would ask commercial banks to arrange loans for investors.

As for transport infrastructure, the transport ministry said the transport system in the northwestern region will be developed to link to that of other regions in the next five years. The road projects underway include Hanoi-Lao Cai, Hanoi-Bac Kan, Hanoi-Hoa Binh-Lang Son highways, ring roads from Quang Ninh to Dien Bien and Quang Ninh to China, and the upgrade of roads from Thai Binh to Son La and provincial roads.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has funded a pre-feasibility study for connecting the Hanoi-Lao Cai Expressway to roads in Lai Chau and Ha Giang.

Airports in Dien Bien, Son La and Lao Cai will be upgraded. Hanoi-Lao Cai railway system is also being rehabilitated. A railway system from Lao Cai to Sapa will be built to help the resort town attract more tourists.

by Dao Loan    

Source: SGT