Sun Group has set out to transform the entertainment and leisure industry so domestic tourists in Vietnam don’t have to fly abroad to experience world-class entertainment. We spoke to Dang Minh Truong – Chairman of Sun Group - about how they will continue to develop the attractions industry in Vietnam under the Sun World Entertainment brand.
Mr. Dang Minh Truong – Chairman of Sun Group
Sun World has a strong presence in many popular destinations in Vietnam. What makes these venues so special compared to other places of entertainment?
Our biggest aim is offering world-class entertainment complexes that mean Vietnamese tourists don’t have to fly overseas to experience leading international parks.
Since returning to Vietnam in 2007, Sun Group has worked continually towards creating world-class entertainment complexes. After more than a decade of growth, we have successfully developed and unveiled entertainment complexes under the brand Sun World in many leading destinations across the country.
Located in Vietnam’s most spectacular locations, visiting Sun World brings visitors a truly profound travel experience. For example, Sun World Ba Na Hills is located at an altitude of nearly 1,500m above sea level on the top of Ba Na Hills in Central Vietnam. Sun World Fansipan Legend is situated on the Roof of Indochina at a height of 3,143 metres. We have other Sun World venues in what can be considered ideal locations in Danang, Ha Long and Phu Quoc.
Every Sun World has its own unique vibe. Ba Na Hills was Sun Group’s first ideal location. It has a mild climate all year-round. There is gorgeous rural architecture inspired by French villages, and seasonal festivals are held throughout the year. Located on the west bank of Han River, Sun World Danang Wonders offers a combination of unique features, including some of the most exciting entertainment rides and attractions in the world and many special cultural highlights that showcase Asian style.
Cradled in the slopes of the legendary Mount Fansipan, Sun World Fansipan Legend is home to meaningful cultural works, tourism programmes, entertainment and cable car services. At Sun World Fansipan Legend, guests can enjoy beautiful natural landscapes from a height of thousands of metres. They will also have a chance to touch the landmarks at the roof of Indochina. Besides reaching the peak of Fansipan, visitors can experience the most unique and quintessential cultural values belonging to the northwest highlands through various traditional festivals.
Keeping up with the latest trends around the world, Sun World Halong Complex is a paradise of adventure games all of which offer visitors an unforgettable experience, for example, Queen Cable Car, Sun Wheel, and many interesting other attractions in the Water Park and Theme Park.
As the first and foremost development belonging to the marine amusement complex of Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park, Hon Thom Cable Car is the longest cable car system in the world. Visitors will be mesmerized by the stunning beauty of Hon Thom, but they can also partake in a host of fun-filled activities at Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park.
Each Sun World has its own distinctive appeal and offers an inclusive concept from the beautiful architecture to the different kinds of entertainment. As a brand it is constantly evolving, reinventing, and re-imagining itself every year, with fascinating festivals and new activities. This is the way we will stand out and stay ahead of our competitors.
Fansipan Legend — Sun Group photo.
Investing in such world-class entertainment complexes is extremely costly and not a business model that leads to quick profits. What motivates Sun Group to ‘spare no expense’ when investing in such ambitious projects?
About 10 years ago, there were not a lot of companies investing in entertainment complexes, and Sun Group could see the potential of the leisure travel and entertainment industry. Despite all the favorable conditions, Vietnam didn’t have a thriving amusement park that featured various attractions to ensure visitors spend more and stay longer.
For example, Halong is always crowded with a large number of tourists coming to visit the heritage islands, but tourism revenue is not as high as many other local destinations, such as Nha Trang or Danang. In 2015, Quang Ninh welcomed 7.7 million visitors while revenue was only VND6.55 trillion. The number of tourists visiting Danang totalled 4.6 million, generating a revenue of approximately VND13 trillion, nearly double that of Quang Ninh. Tourists are always looking for things to do and they have money to spend, and Danang is a destination that is already popular with tourists.
The past few years have seen the Vietnamese people visiting other attractions around the world such as Disneyland Hong Kong, Disneyland Tokyo (Japan) and Resort World Genting (Malaysia). In 2012, an estimated 3.5 million Vietnamese tourists travelled abroad with total spending of US$3.5 billion, increasing 20% per year.
With a strong desire to improve the standards and reputation of attractions throughout Vietnam, Sun Group invested in Sun World with a large investment to offer immersive experiences and many other attractions they can be found at places such as Universal Studios or Disneyland.
From unique architectural works to tranquil green spaces, Sun World’s offers so much. All equipment is tested under European standards and produced by the world’s top brands for amusement rides, such as Huss Park Attractions (Germany), Vekoma Rides Manufacturing (Netherlands); SBF Visa Group (Italia) and Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) (Switzerland). Along with international-standard rides, Sun World is much more than the sum of its numerous attractions. It’s a place where you can challenge yourself with various adventure games and new experiences every day.
What has the reaction been from tourists visiting the Sun World complexes?
The Sun World complexes have proved popular with tourists as they offer so many avenues of entertainment. Sun World Ba Na Hills has received the ‘Top Tourist Destination of Vietnam’ award from Vietnam National Administration of Tourism for four consecutive years. The number of tourists to Ba Na increased over 160 times compared to 2009, the first year the resort went into operation.
Sun World Fansipan Legend, Sun World Halong Complex and Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park have all proven to be crucial motivating factors attracting many more tourists to Sapa, Halong and Phu Quoc.
Featuring exclusive and innovative parks, Sun World Halong Complex spurred explosive growth in the number of tourists coming to Halong from 2016 to 2018. During the summer months, the occupancy rate of hotels in Halong was between 90-100%. Visitors now choose to stay in Halong longer, instead of just two days as before. When arriving in this beautiful coastal city in the past, people only thought of visiting Ha Long Bay, but today they will be pleasantly surprised to see many new entertainment playgrounds. Therefore, we have strong motivation for launching more highly innovative tourism products.
Can you tell us about the future plans of Sun Group for developing more Sun World complexes?
At the heart and soul of our company is a desire to constantly create highly innovative tourism products. Visitors coming to Sun World complexes every year can experience many different festivals and international art performances, all of which showcase a diverse variety of artists and events throughout the year.
In June this year, Ba Na Hills will inaugurate Noel Square and launch its biggest ever carnival. The show will be produced and directed by stage manager Pham Hoang Nam, the international choreographer and artistic director Hani Abaza, musician Huy Tuan, and Tom Trandt – one of the world’s most talented young fashion designers.
Coming to Sun World Halong Complex, visitors can not only enjoy exciting rides, but also experience spectacular carnivals to be held in the Sun Carnival Halong Square boasting a capacity of 10,000 seats. Sun World will create a promising centre of entertainment where visitors of all ages can enjoy a wide array of amusements.
Besides the launch of new Sun World complexes, we will always focus on innovation in terms of our appearance, products and services. Our motivation is always to introduce more world-class entertainment experiences to Vietnamese tourists, so they don’t need to travel abroad to experience various attractions at amusement parks.