Joe Lewis, owner of English football club Tottenham Hotspurs, has pledged to provide companionship and consultancy for Da Nang in the city’s development of cruise tourism after hosting its leaders in the U.S.
A delegation of municipal officials led by Da Nang deputy chairman Le Trung Chinh concluded their working trip with Lewis at a yacht center in Fort Lauderdale, Miami on Friday.
The two-day visit was meant to promote investment in the central city’s International Yacht Center project.
After several meetings with city leaders, Lewis agreed to assist the city and provide consultancy for Da Nang to build up its cruise tourism industry, a member of the Vietnamese delegation told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
The owner of Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur had previously shown interest in developing an exclusive berth for cruise liners in Da Nang when he arrived in the central Vietnamese city during an around-the-world voyage on his US$150 million superyacht Aviva in May this year.
Lewis, 82, told Da Nang chairman Huynh Duc Tho the city is among the most beautiful coastal places in Vietnam and that it would make a great destination for luxury cruise ships.
|Joe Lewis (second left) welcomes Da Nang chairman Huynh Duc Tho (fourth left) to his superyatch Aviva during a visit to Da Nang, Vietnam in May 2019. Photo: Tan Luc / Tuoi Tre|
According to the British billionaire, the yacht economy in Fort Lauderdale has made huge economic contributions to Miami.
The city of 1.3 million now welcomes more than 13 million visitors every year and makes over $10 billion in tourism revenue thanks to cruise liners and yacht arrivals, he said.
Fort Lauderdale alone welcomes 500,000 arrivals by personal yachts and 4,1 million arrivals by cruise ships every year.
Each yacht or cruise ship that stays in Fort Lauderdale brings in approximately $1 million in monthly spending, he said.
|Joe Lewis (L) and Da Nang chairman Huynh Duc Tho (C) pose for a photo on board the superyatch Aviva during a visit in Da Nang, Vietnam in May 2019. Photo: Tan Luc / Tuoi Tre|
Lewis is the 388th richest person on Forbes’ 2018 list of billionaires with a net worth of $5 billion.
He was the 12th wealthiest person in the UK as of March 2018.
Together with his son Charlie and protégé Levy, he founded a company that bought stakes in Tottenham Hotspur.
Upon the completion of the sale in February 2001, Levy became the chairman and ‘face’ of the Premier League side, while Lewis remains very much in the background.