BizLIVE - FLC Faros, one of the most prestigious construction contractors in Vietnam, is turning this island into a must-visit spot in Binh Dinh province.
Who Is Investing in Cu Lao Xanh?
Photo 1: The lagoons in Cu Lao Xanh are winding and meandering, surrounded by crystal clear water reflecting the bottom. Photo: FLC Faros
Located 24 kilometers to the south-east of Quy Nhon, the small island of Cu Lao Xanh has an area of around 5 square kilometers with 4 kilometers in length and the largest part of which is just 1.2 kilometers. Despite its impressively blue charm as its name and picturesque landscapes, the island has long been an unrecognized destination on Vietnam's tourism map, and is now still considered "the island of the old and the children."
Although the island is bounded by sea waves to all sides, its people are not able to make their living from the sea.
According to the People's Committee of Nhon Chau Commune, the highest annual fishery production in Cu Lao Xanh is less than 1,000 tons and has been considerately plummeting, once reported less than 400 tons. The average monthly income per capita could not even reach VND1 million ($45) and the average population once reduced to only 2,000 people.
Expect the prosperity
Signal of changes has been marked since 2016. Along with the impressive growth of tourism in Binh Dinh, the name Cu Lao Xanh has been gradually mentioned more besides Ky Co, Eo Gio, Trung Luong...
"Due to the poverty and difficult conditions previously, the young on the island were forced to move to mainland. Now the situation has changed. Several industries including tourism have flourished and young people are returning home to make their living," says the head of Nhon Chau commune.
With about 500 households living mainly in the front shore, the entire area of 325 hectares of Cu Lao Xanh is still almost deserted with rocks piled aside the white sandy beach.
The lagoons in Cu Lao Xanh are meandering and winding, surrounded by crystal clear waters reflecting the bottom with colorful coral reefs and seaweeds. The shades of green and blue from the trees, the sea and the sky are mixed, creating a stunning scenery that could impress any visitors first stepping here.
In August 2017, Mr. Phan Van Binh, Chairman of People's Committee of Nhon Chau Commune said that since the beginning of the year, there have been over 1,500 visitors to Cu Lao Xanh.
This figure is not big, not to say tiny compared with nearly 4 million visitors coming to Binh Dinh in 2017. However, this means a lot of joy to the people of Cu Lao Xanh.
In fact, to set the name of this "island of the old and children" as a tourist destination on the Vietnam tourism’s map as other places of Binh Dinh, the people of Cu Lao Xanh still face a tough journey ahead.
At present, the whole island is using electricity from diesel generators running from 17:00 pm to 23:00 pm daily, with a small number of boats taking people from the island to the mainland back and forth.
Tourism on the island still remains completely self-sufficient and scattered with hardly any accommodation. In the long term, this situation is a constraint for Cu Lao Xanh’s tourism to develop as well and unitedly as several other areas in Binh Dinh.
The Chairman of Nhon Chau Commune at least twice expressed his wish for investors to go to Cu Lao Xanh to expand the infrastructure, help develop tourism as well as improve living standards of the local people.
This desire of Mr. Phan Van Binh has come true when People's Committee of Binh Dinh Province approved the investment policy of the ecotourism resort and villas project FLC Cu Lao Xanh in August 2017 by FLC Faros JSC.
What makes FLC Cu Lao Xanh Resort?
As planned, the ecotourism resort and villa FLC Cu Lao Xanh covers an area of 120 hectares, in which over 105 hectares are allocated for the development including 47.2, hectares of land and 57.9 hectares of water surface.
The project will contain numerous integrated items such as hotels, forest villas, rocky resorts, sea bungalows, scenic towers, beaches, water parks, restaurants, spa, gym..., with the total capital nearly VND486 billion ($21.4 million).
The project developer - FLC Faros is one of the most prestigious construction contractors in Vietnam, also known as the owner of a large number of big scale projects.
Photo 2: FLC Faros - The developer of FLC Cu Lao Xanh Resort. 
In the stock market, FLC Faros share (coded ROS) has been among those having seen the strongest net foreign inflows since the start of 2018. It has currently been one of the most lucrative constituents of the portfolios owned by three major foreign-run ETFs in Vietnam’s stock market.
FLC Faros's portfolio is comprised of 11 projects with a total investment of $3 billion, of which many are jointly implemented with FLC Group, such as FLC Quang Binh, FLC Quy Nhon, Quy Nhon Safari Park, The Coastal Hill Hotel, FLC Lux City Samson...
With FLC Cu Lao Xanh, "we want to build a resort property in harmony with nature and minimize the impacts on the environment during the implementation," says Mr. Trinh Van Quyet, Chairman of FLC Faros.
He also adds that, when put into operation, this project will increase the opportunities to exploit tourism for all residents in Cu Lao Xanh, not only working for the project, but also doing various activities, for example home-stay or travel service for tourists...
"We want to share as many opportunities as possible with the people here," FLC Faros Chairman emphasizes.
The model of investing in the primitive and pre-tourist sites has been successfully implemented by FLC Faros and FLC Group in Thanh Hoa and Binh Dinh provinces, proved by great socio-economic efficiency when put into operation recently.
Being applied and expanded in Cu Lao Xanh, this model will turn the treasured jewel into a new remarkable destination in Vietnam as expected by FLC Faros. Combined with Eo Gio - Ky Co - Quy Nhon, these sites will form a series of featured spots of Binh Dinh, contributing to make this “land of martial art and literature” become a "new tourist paradise" of Vietnam.

MINH MINH