Investment in an entertainment park will lead to development in the real estate and tourism sectors, international experts have said.

"Demand for an entertainment park is huge in Vietnam , but government policies haven't encouraged investors for the industry," said Pham Trung Luong, deputy head of the Tourism Development Research Institute under the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

Luong spoke yesterday at the Vietnam International Real Estate and Entertainment Connections conference and exhibition held in HCM City on June 12.

Gary Goddard, CEO of Goddard Corporation, who also spoke at the conference, pointed out that a successful project, first and foremost, required an excellent idea but also good design, services, marketing, target-market understanding, and knowledge of customer interests as well as the investment environment in a country.

The idea must be appropriate to the country, and the project should have the best location at a reasonable cost, he added.

"An entertainment park should be unique with enough differences to serve targeted customers with the best quality," he added.

For the last 20 years, the Asian entertainment park industry has grown strongly, and is now considered the top entertainment park centre in the world.

In 2010, the number of customers who visited Asian entertainment parks rose 7.3 per cent, much higher than 1.8 percent in the US .

This year, 290 million people are expected to visit Asian entertainment parks, compared to 249 million in 2007.

At the conference, experts noted that Vietnam does not have a major entertainment park for several reasons: unstable policies on land development, no incentives for entertainment park construction, cumbersome procedures, weak management abilities and poor-quality human resources for the industry.

"The Government, however, has approved master planning for 40 national tourism spots, and we welcome investors in entertainment park in those places," Luong added.

He said that some parks in the south can meet entertainment demand for local tourists, but not in the north.

"We also recognise that entertainment parks increase value for real estate and attract more both local and international tourists to Vietnam ," he added.

The conference, organised by the Vietnam Real Estate Association and G4B company, discussed two investment models, including 100 per cent ownership and franchising.

Under the first, the investors will control all construction, including a shopping mall and residential areas, with total investment of 20-50 million USD.

Under franchising, the investors will own the land and infrastructure, and then co-operate with others to build entertainment parks, shopping malls and residential areas.

In Vietnam , the best model will be a mixture of the two, part ownership and part franchising, he said.

Because the park will require a huge land plot and must be located near an urban area, experts suggested that Vietnam develop family entertainment centres with a focus on entertainment related to history, education, science, ecology, water recreation and agriculture.-VNA