Giant tourism projects in Central Region to be revoked

Published:  17:08 Tuesday - May 07, 2013

Giant tourism projects in Central Region to be revoked

Being registered with tens of millions of dollars in capital and noisily advertised, many foreign invested projects in the field of tourism remain standstill due to lack of funds or problems with site clearance.

"The situation is very difficult," said Mr. Vo Tan Thai, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment of Khanh Hoa province -- about the implementation of tourism projects and resorts in the province. 

According to Thai, the progress of 32 tourism projects in North Cam Ranh peninsula, including five joint venture projects, is still very slow, even though the province has repeatedly warned of revoking and then extending the deadline for implementation.

"In the coming time, we may have to withdraw the investment certificates of six projects," he said, adding that many tourism projects of Khanh Hoa are still in difficulty, except for the Dinh Vang tourist project of a domestic investor.

Photos: Most of the projects in the field of tourism and resort are very sluggish. 

Mirax Cam Ranh Resort, a joint venture project in which Gerrad Investors Holdings Limited (Russia) holds 70 percent stake, with investment capital of $100 million, is still a dispute over land compensation and site clearance for households in the project area. This project, with the scale of 16 ha, was granted an investment certificate in August 2008. It was scheduled for implementation in three years, but until now it has yet to be deployed though Khanh Hoa province extended the deadline.

Meanwhile, the project to build a six star resort on an area of 19 ha of the Bao Lam Investment JS Company, financially supported by Emirates NBD Bank (the United Arab Emirates - UAE) through Swiss-Attixs International Hotel, which was noisily announced earlier this year, with the expectation of being implemented soon, but the reality is completely opposite.

In mid-January, Emirates NBD and Bao Lam signed a memorandum of understanding on $200 million invested into the projects in the northern Cam Ranh peninsula. The investment certificate was also issued, but according to Thai, soon after, the two sides had conflicts. The local authorities, thus, revoked the investment license. "Perhaps we'll issue a new certificate for Bao Lam," said Thai.

The Park Hyatt Hotel Group has also selected North Cam Ranh peninsula as a place to build the 5-star hotel Hyatt Regency Cam Ranh Bay Resort & Spa, after two Park Hyatt projects in HCM City and Da Nang. However, this project has not been started.

The Manna Luxury Holiday Resort project, invested by Bo Bien Vang Limited Company and the Rafaeli Group (Israel), with an investment of VND350 billion ($17 million), expected to be completed by 2014, but the progress is very slow.

"Most of investors are very financially difficult to continue the projects. But if we revoke the projects, we did not know whom to give them to," said Thai.

In the same plight, Phu Yen province has many FDI projects in the tourism sector, such as NewCity ($ 4 billion), Sao Viet ($30 million), Hon Ngoc Bai Tram ($ 60 million), Coastal international tourism village ($10 million) ... but except for Sao Viet and Hon Ngoc Bai Tram that have completed a number of stages, the others are very sluggish. The most expected project - NewCity – is at a "standstill" in site clearance and land compensation.

Similarly, Saigon Atlantic Hotel projecf in Ba Ria – Vung Tau province, with $ 4.1 billion of capital, of Winvest LLC (United States), although in mid-2012 had to "call for help" to the government, but so far the project is still stuck at the stage of site clearance. "We have worked hard, but many households do not cooperate, so the situation has not improved," said Mr. Huynh Xuan Vinh, from the Department of Planning and Investment.

The Nam Hoi An Resort (Quang Nam province), worth $ 4 billion, after Genting Malaysia Berhad (Malaysia) declared withdrawal in September last year, the remaining investor in the joint venture - Vinacapital – has tried to seek a new partner but it cannot. "The situation is very difficult. Vinacapital has introduced new investors, but nothing to confirm the feasibility," a source said.

Meanwhile, Binh Dinh Province has also issued a red warning for two tourism projects, Hon Ngoc Viet ($125 million) and Vinh Hoi Resort ($ 250 million). "By June 30, if the investor ALT (Russia) does not submit the detailed plan of the project, then we will consider withdrawal of the investment certificate. With the Vinh Hoi project, we will urge the investors to implement, if there is no improvement, we will revoke the investment certificate," said Mr. Ho Quoc Dung, deputy chairman of Binh Dinh province.

"The situation might be better in 2015," said Mr. Vo Tan Thai.


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