If someone goes along the 100 meter-wide Nguyen Tat Thanh Boulevard nowadays (see red line in the location map below), he would see many construction sites from which luxurious resorts would arise in the future, instead of the vast sand expanses they saw in the past.
The network of large roads, called the “fishbone network” spreading from Nguyen Tat Thanh Boulevard to the Bai Dai beach has been asphalted. The electricity grid, water supply and drainage and the greenery all have been developed in the preparation of the strong development of Cam Ranh in the near future.
According to Do Huu Thiet, Deputy Director of the Khanh Hoa provincial Planning and Investment Department, the Cam Ranh peninsula’s northern part has been approved by the Prime Minister to become an area with high quality tourism center, air transportation center, national and international convention center and shopping malls.
Since 2003, when the Cam Ranh peninsular development strategy was approved, the whole northern part of the peninsular, covering an area of 1,253 hectares, has been fully occupied with investment projects.
Also according to Thiet, by the end of 2012, the local authorities had granted 32 projects to 33 domestic and foreign investors. It is expected that the projects, capitalized at VND19.329 trillion, would use 1,247 hectares of land.
In mid January 2013, Emirates NBD Bank PJSC from UAE, through a Swiss company and a Vietnamese partner, decided to put $200 million into the tourism, resortand hotel projects in Khanh Hoa. The group would implement the project on a resort and 6-star villas on an area of 19 hectares in the northern part of the Cam Ranh peninsular, estimated to cost $80 million.
Beautiful Coastline, Great Weather and International Access
Nguyen Dinh Trung, President of Hung Thinh Company, the investor of Golden Bay, highly appreciates the investment opportunity on Cam Ranh.
Trung said that this is the locality with the most beautiful coast in Vietnam,where the climate is wonderful, the transport conditions are good with the Cam Ranh International airports.
Minimum Land Area and Investment Size before development license granted
Do Huu Thiet, Deputy Director of the Khanh Hoa provincial Department of Planning and Investment, said the local authorities would only consider licensing projects, if the projects need 10 hectares of land at least and has the investment rate of VND25 billion per hectares at minimum (USD1.2m per hectare). And investors would be required to pay the land leasing fee in advance.
In an effort to attract investment, the provincial authorities have allowed foreign investors to develop their projects here, while in the past, the investors were mostly Vietnamese.
20km airport zone where most resort development takes place
If you compare the 20km radius from airports you’ll realize that most comparative resort development from around the region takes place within this zone. And the Cam Ranh peninsula fits neatly into this profile.
Other planning specific advantages of Cam Ranh Bay include:
- additional water frontage due to the presence of the inland bay
- limited coastal locations in Vietnam with international air access
- the area on the peninsula north of the airport (shaded in blue, above map) is limited to about gross 1,800 hectares (very roughly around one hundred 10 hectare sites).
On-the-ground comments from Mark Gwyther:
I just visited this area yesterday, looking at every single resort site on the strip call “Long Beach”. It has great potential, but very few of these resorts have even broken ground. With the number of Russian tourists increasing by 50% in Q1, I don’t believe it is because of a lack of demand. Nha Trang hotels (45 minutes away) are doing pretty well. It seems to be a combination of waiting for airport upgrades, not wanting to be first, and a severe lack of capital inside of Vietnam. To be sure, the resorts to be developed need to be “2nd generation” resorts. There is very little to do or see on this peninsula.
On the positive side, the Vietnam government just announced that Cam Ranh is one of the 3 “First Class Airports” in Vietnam (along with Hanoi and HCMC) to be developed. On the negative side, it seems the priority may be because of the military rather than tourism. Inside Cam Ranh Bay is a large shipyard and military base. The military base may be used by the U.S. Navy in the future. Either way, the inside of the bay is not very nice and probably will never be developed for tourism, other than perhaps as a cruise ship port.
Further south than the 20km circle (above), like some of the best beaches in Vietnam. They are empty now but a new road along the coast is opening them up for the first time.
Images: Mark Gwyther, Earth Walker.