Fusion Hotel Group (Fusion) is a home-grown Vietnamese hotel company with 7 operating hotels and a total of more than 1,800 keys across the country. The first hotel with an all-spa-inclusive concept was born back in 2008 and ever since, Fusion has continuously put great effort into delivering the fresh concept of wellness travel to its guests, especially the Vietnamese guests. Fusion has now evolved into a collection of unique wellness-inspired accommodation options, where each experience is anything but standard and where a healthy lifestyle becomes part of the daily routine.

Destination Review had a great talk with Mr. Samir Wildemann, Vice President – Operations of Fusion Hotel Group to discover what are the secrets this hospitality player keeps to pave its way in spreading the new concept of wellness travel into the Vietnamese market where there is no proper definition or clear guidelines and standards for wellness travel.

In 2008, we launched the first Fusion resort under this concept, and our mindset was to differentiate ourselves from others. The original goal was to not to create a pure wellness resort but to open people’s minds to wellness and to have the ability to attract customers that may not be one-hundred percent into wellness. Guests can stay at our resorts as a regular vacation as they would have otherwise; however, they also have the opportunity to enjoy the wellness aspects to which every guest has free access at each Fusion property.

With Fusion, it is not just the usual holiday where you feel good and recharge but also the opportunity to reflect on what you have done and experienced during the holidays and continue to embrace a wellness lifestyle once back home. We want our guests to become more mindful of the food intake, and listen more to one’s body and live a healthier life.

The key differentiation lies in the spa and wellness activities that we offer in our hotels and resorts across Vietnam. We opened our spas to everyone, which means that daily spa treatments are included at no extra cost.

In addition, we also offer yoga classes, fitness classes and other activities like kayaking or cycling in locations such as Phu Quoc, Hue or Cam Ranh. For younger families, there are kid clubs with extensive programs so that the parents can enjoy quality time at our wellness centers.

Even on our Fusion Suites branded hotels in Vung Tau, Saigon and Da Nang where we have business mixes also with leisure travelers, guests can enjoy treatments included in their stay after a busy day at work or sightseeing, they can enjoy a spa treatment or foot reflexology, all part of the stay.

The original idea was to differentiate ourselves from what the market had to offer back then. There are many well-established and successful wellness resorts in other countries. We choose to grow with this concept in Vietnam since we saw great potential to develop wellness in many amazing destinations of this fascinating country.

Initially, the domestic market was not our focus as demand came from outside of Vietnam and gradually we made a name for ourselves and domestic interest grew year over year. Not being purely focused on wellness was the key to success as nobody is obliged to partake in any of our wellness activities but since they have time on the trip, they may find one or some of our wellness experiences interesting and give it a try. After the experiences they have at our hotels, they may add these wellness sessions into their daily routine and that is exactly what we aim for when we founded Fusion.

In addition to many complimentary treatments in our spas, we also offer periodic wellness experiences such as meditation and detox retreats in some hotels. We have seen an ever-increasing demand and also received very good feedback after having launched these activities.

Thanks to the wellness experiences offered at each hotel, we have a high percentage of repeat guests as our clients see a great value in their vacation. This confirms it over and over again that we are on the right track and that we have won the heart of our customers. With borders closed in 2020 and likely to remain closed for the remainder of 2021, this has opened up even further the domestic market for us.

Wellness was not a new concept and has always been very appealing to certain markets, especially to Europeans and North-Asians, but more and more we see that within our borders people are willing to evolve their lifestyle and are opting for a more health cautious vacation. This pandemic has of course also made all of us look very differently at how we live and there has been a big focus on one’s health and wellbeing in general and that is where we come in. People make reservations with us because of the available facilities and services we have in our properties and this has certainly given a big boost to wellness travel.

There are more and more amazing destinations in Vietnam opening up to tourism. For example, we are working on a new hotel in Quang Binh province where we see huge potential thanks to its stunning beaches, unique cuisine and in terms of sightseeing, the myriad of caves, many yet to be explored, will be on many travelers’ bucket list!

Vietnam still has a lot of areas, especially where nature is untouched, to discover and be developed as the Vietnamese tourism sector now accounts for only 7 to 10% of the total GDP.

However, the development strives to build sustainability where health and wellness can be integrated into the living for the domestic and international travelers to discover the beauty of the scenery, to discover the setting itself and to rediscover oneself to see deep down what needs to be changed.

Tourism in Vietnam will, however, grow exponentially as we have so much to offer and it is something we alone cannot control. Nevertheless, we do try to create awareness and wherever we set foot, we try to blend in perfectly into the scenery. With the borders being closed, we are able to discover corners of Vietnam we may have never thought of traveling to and we do feel that there is much more environmental awareness. We hope that this will further develop as this will guarantee the future for tourism and mistakes of other destinations can be avoided.

The first Fusion hotel was launched over 12 years ago and we now have seven hotels under operation and we are opening this year as well as in several new locations with a few more on the drawing board. We want to keep our hotels small and continue to develop in that area but while doing that, we also come up with new concepts to suit each location.

Whilst we will continue to focus in 2021 on the domestic market as there is so much to discover. Just look at Quy Nhon, its pristine destination with beautiful landscape, untouched scenery and beaches, especially the reputation of its cuisine where a Maia Resort resides. Our new project in Quang Binh is expected to offer guests the opportunity to relax with spa treatments after a day full of activities as the destination itself is unique and appealing. Fusion is still a young company and we are very excited about what the future has to offer. We hope also to welcome you to our resorts very soon.

Thank you Mr. Samir Wildemann for sharing with us more than enough about Fusion!

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT | How did Fusion bring the concept of wellness travel to Vietnam?

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