Phuket And Bali Need To Watch Danang
It’s 2017 and the days of keeping Vietnam in the rear view mirror seem to be coming to an end. Sure boom bust boom has been a recurring theme for the up and down gyrations of one of Southeast Asia’s fitful sleepers. But my eyes are starting to look East again.
Today when I visit Danang, and feel the sheer velocity of the incoming pipeline of new hotel properties I’m reminded of the line about being too big to fail. Build it and they will come often ends in tears, but this case there are simply too many ticks in the column.
Phuket remains blessed in it’s favorable geography, close to nearby metropolis’s like Hong Kong Kong and Singapore for short bursts of weekend holidays. Or else the vast expanse of China and favorable door to door travel time.
Bali on the other hand is more distant but its incredibly strong brand and great hotels continues to pack an undeniable allure.
Yet, casting an eye on Danang that is just over two hours from nearby Hong Kong and rising connectivity, it’s impossible to ignore a rising tide. New shiny hotels, golf, casinos, retail and affordability come into play.
Certainly visas remain an issue for many, but that is evolving and sooner or later liberalization is on the horizon.
Does the rapid pace of development also keep me awake at night in Danang. Absolutely. The property market has come so far so fast, with mega projects that flaunt unsustainable guaranteed returns cast a broad shadow on the property landscape.
Yet hotels are coming up fast and the supporting infrastructure needed for a mass tourism destination is a work in progress. This will pose challenges going forward to both Phuket and Bali, as destination resorts become a broader commodity and Danang’s new hotels will need to fill rooms. Expect price pressure, a new suitor for the returning Russian market and a value pricing proposition.
Competition will undoubtedly cause inspiration and perspiration for all in the mix. Yet seeing Vietnam and Danang get their mojo back is a guilty pleasure. While the more the merrier might be an altruistic credo, the reality is that competition is on the rise, and driving in the rear view mirror is no way to take a journey into the future.