Dusit International moves to franchise model in Vietnam expansion

A view from Phu Quoc, the largest island in Vietnam. Credit: RyanTruong//Getty

Thailand-based global hospitality company Dusit International will make its Vietnam debut this December with the opening of the DusitPrincess Moonrise Beach Resort on the country's largest island, Phu Quoc.

The project is part of a long-term franchising arrangement with Linh Chi Limited Company. The new hotel will comprise 108 rooms overlooking Bai Truong beach on the island's west coast, an eight-minute drive from Phu Quoc International Airport.

"Phu Quoc's growing reputation as a major tourist destination is only set to flourish over the next 10 years as many high-end developments are slated to open on the island," said Ms Suphajee Suthumpun, CEO of Dusit International. "Following our strategy for sustainable and profitable growth, which includes building our portfolio of international properties, the new hotel will open under our newly developed franchise model, which helps property owners gain maximum returns while providing them with all the benefits they expect from a global brand. We are very much looking forward to working with Linh Chi Limited Company on this special project."

Phu Quoc, also known as Pearl Island, is located in the south of Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand. Popular attractions include Phu Quoc National Park, a Unesco Biosphere Reserve; and Dinh Cau Temple, built in 1937 to honour Thien Hau, the Goddess of the Sea.

Phu Quoc International Airport is currently served daily by 10 domestic flights from Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, while international destinations served include Cambodia, China, Finland, Korea Sweden, and the UK. The airport is currently being upgraded and expected to welcome more than four million travellers per year. A visa exempt rule grants international visitors 30 days upon arrival.

The Vietnam announcement comes on the heels of a $1.4-billion investment by Dusit in a mixed-use development project with Central Pattana in Bangkok. Construction will start in July on the company's plot between Silom and Rama IV, where its flagship hotel Dusit Thani Bangkok also is located.

The new development will include a hotel, a residential building, offices and retail space. 

In preparation for the new build, the company will begin development on land next to Dusit Thani Bangkok, next to Rama IV Road. Meanwhile, the Dusit Thani Bangkok will continue running until mid-2018. The new hotel will be complete in 2021 while the whole project will be complete by 2024.

The announcement follows Dusit International’s Oct. 2016 decision to expand its business beyond the hospitality industry. The company expects its non-hotel business will contribute 10 percent of total revenue within the next five years.  

According to Dusit Group’s CEO Suphajee Suthumpun, the group’s goal is to raise its revenue contribution ratio from both domestic and international operations to 50:50 within the next five years. It also plans to double the number of hotel rooms under its portfolio, raising it to 14,000.

Dusit operates 26 hotels in eight countries, including Dubai, the Maldives and the Philippines. The company owns 10 of these while 16 are under management agreements. That total will increase to 70 within the next five years as the group plans to expand its presence into Europe.