Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Vietnamese Theme parks fail to thrill foreign investors

Vietnamese Theme parks fail to thrill foreign investors
September 3, 2010

The Vietnamese-owned CT Group is presently implementing plans to develop a major theme park on a 420-hectare site in Ho Chi Minh City's Binh Chanh District.

The project, which gained Government approval in 1999, will include a residential and commercial areas centred on a theme park with ecological and cultural attractions. The development, which is expected to cost US$1 billion, will begin operations by 2015.

Another Vietnamese entertainment project developer, Suoi Tien Group, broke ground last year with its second theme park project called Son Tien Ecotourism in Dong Nai Province.

Its first success was with the 55-hectare Suoi Tien Park, also in Ho Chi Minh City.

Tran My Duyen, Deputy Director of the group's business development department, said it estimated that it would invest US $1 billion for the second park in addition to $263 million needed for the group to expand the first park with an additional 55 hectares. The group also plans to develop a US$15 million cable-car route linking the two theme parks.

The Suoi Tien Group has attracted 40 million visitors over the last 15 years and their theme park is the most successful in the country.

Tran Kim Chung, Chairman of CT Group, thinks the theme park industry, which has grown 16% a year of late in major cities, is a promising sector in Vietnam, stating "there is a great deal of potential within the high-class segment of the market. Presently there are no modern theme parks that meet the demands of high income Vietnamese in the country."

Meanwhile, Thibault Paquin, principal at Celebrating Life Company, said Asia was expected to become the world's largest market for theme parks in the next 15 years, as the region accounts for 60% of the world's population.

Paquin highlights that Vietnam hasnât attracted big brands such Disneyland, Universal Studios and Legoland, rather is has developed its own local brands.

Pham Trung Luong, Deputy Director of Vietnam's Institute for Tourism Development Research, recognises that theme park development is a tool with which a country can develop tourism pointing out that the Vietnamese Government supports this kind of development as a move to diversify and enrich the country's tourism industry.

However, Luong laments that foreign investors are not excited at the prospect of joining the industry.

Steve Shah, Senior Project Director of Canada-based planning and design firm Forrec, said Vietnam didn't have a large enough theme park market to attract foreign investors, but he said potential would develop in the coming years as incomes continue to rise.

Shah explained that "investors should plan small-scale and modernised parks and expand them later when the industry matures."

Loung adds that "foreign firms seem to be more interested in hotels and resorts with electronic games or casinos serving as entertainment. It appears that they are not interested in investing huge amounts of capital in theme parks."

Vietnam has a population of over 86 million which will reach 100 million by 2020. This will lead to a potential market where parks can meet localsâ amusement needs and demands, said experts in the industry.

However, the demand would not be strong enough as a large percentage of the population is on low incomes and cannot afford the relatively expensive theme park tickets.

Authorities in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province are considering revoking a license that they granted to US-based Good Choice in 2008 to develop a $1.3 billion theme park called Wonderful World in the coastal province. The authorities said that the developer has yet to implement the project.

The country has already witnessed theme park project failures, namely Vietnam Water World and Saigon Water Park, from foreign investors due to low local demand. Investors suspended operations for years while they asked for approval from the local government to adjust their projects.
Thanh Nien

Image: Suoi Tien Group's waterpark plan.

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

N/A 5dd5ee3db8d8d

Neptune Benson is a manufacturer of high quality water filtration and disinfection products for the recreational, industrial, and municipal water markets. With more than 20,000 installations…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Recreation


N/A 5dd5ee3f9d972

Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners (GNFP) is a structural, aquatic and civil engineering consultancy with broad experience in the design of new municipal and institutional swimming pools, hydrotherapy…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Design / Venues


N/A 5dd5ee56727ce

Track. Engage. Retain GreeneDesk is a suite of cloud based software solutions helping health clubs, leisure centres and swim schools to effectively track progression, improve customer engagement and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Education / Fitness / Technology


N/A 5dd5ee53c4884

Ecoline is a highly experienced and skilled company that offers world-first technology in safety, protects the environment and provides a unique and challenging custom-made adventure and educational…

read more

Attractions / Environment / Safety / Tourism


N/A 5dd5ee4257060

The Calgym/Synergy group has had a long and proud history since 1976 as world leaders in the innovation, design and evolution of commercial strength and conditioning equipment. The Synergy group was…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


N/A 5dd5ee5b47af4

At EventPro Software, we are proudly different from our industry competitors. We have a development-driven culture and 20 years’ experience in event, venue, and catering management software,…

read more

Events / Hospitality / Technology / Ticketing / Venues



AUSTRALIAN MADE. BUILT NOT BOUGHT. AlphaFit is a 100% Australian owned family company manufacturing gear specifically for the strength and conditioning, functional fitness and high-performance…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness


METRA Australia

METRA Australia is your innovation partner for smart electronic locking, Access Control solutions and cashless payment systems to suit all types of leisure facilities.  Our team’s…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Fitness / Recreation / Security


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business