Phu Quoc, an island paradise of rapid tourism development

 Phu Quoc, which is dubbed the pearl island, has undergone a major transformation in just a few years to become one of the hottest holiday destinations in Vietnam.

phu quoc an island paradise of rapid tourism development

Casino, amusement park, resorts

A decade ago, Phu Quoc – blessed with stunning beaches like Bai Khem, Bai Sao and Bai Thom – was an undeveloped tropical island with minimal tourism. The island remained associated with simple beachside pleasures, such as eating fresh seafood and swimming in the sea. Roads in and out of Duong Dong, the administrative capital of Phu Quoc, were mostly made of red clay and full of pot holes. There were very few high-end beach resorts and five-star hotels, and tourist infrastructure and services in Phu Quoc were not of a high-enough level to attract many domestic and international visitors. The island welcomed only 239,000 visitors in 2010, while about 850,000 tourists came to the pearl island in 2015, a significant jump on 2010 but still far below expectations.

phu quoc an island paradise of rapid tourism development

Over the past three years, however, the island has seen exponential growth. Nowadays, more visitors come in one month than did throughout 2010. Phu Quoc Island welcomed more than 5.1 million visitors in 2019, including 671,000 international tourists, yielding revenues of more than VND5.25 trillion. China, the Republic of Korea, Russia, the US, Malaysia, Germany, France, the UK, Australia, and Sweden are the top 10 markets of Phu Quoc tourism. Currently, the island has 430 accommodation facilities offering 18,351 rooms, including eight four-star and 12 five-star hotels.

The north of the island boasts a casino, safari and the Vinpearl Land Amusement Park Phu Quoc, while the south features a series of high-class resort projects, such as JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay and Premier Village Phu Quoc Resort. The state-of-the-art amusement complex, Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park has also helped put Phu Quoc on the map, especially because of how visitors get there – a breathtaking ride on the world’s longest over-sea cable car, which officially opened on February 2018. Snorkeling is also available to see the dazzling colors of the coral reefs and their diverse marine life.

phu quoc an island paradise of rapid tourism development

Leading destination for luxury travel

Much of this success can be attributed to the fact that Phu Quoc had started to attract more strategic investors directing major investment into tourism infrastructure and services on the island. Direct flights from domestic and foreign destinations, and an upgraded airport are also contributing to visitor growth.

World famous brands, such as InterContinental, Hyatt, Movenpick, Best Western, Wyndham, Pullman, Novotel, JW Marriott and Melia, are now present on Phu Quoc, meaning that the island has already become a leading destination for luxury holidays.

Nguyen Trung Khanh, director-general of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said many mechanisms and policies to create favorable conditions for international investors and travelers to Phu Quoc have been applied. For example, a visa waiver policy which gives foreigners a 30-day visa-free stay was adopted. In addition, Phu Quoc is always featured prominently in Vietnam’s tourism promotion programs in domestic and international fairs. Phu Quoc plans to set up a tourism promotion fund and strengthen information dissemination to attract more visitors.

phu quoc an island paradise of rapid tourism development

With favorable mechanisms and policies, and strong investment, Phu Quoc finally looks set to fulfill its destiny as one of the world’s most attractive destinations.

In its list of five up-and-coming Asia Pacific destinations not to be missed during the autumn, CNN chose Phu Quoc

Island off Vietnam’s southern province of Kien Giang. The US-based television network also assessed that Phu Quoc

Island has major tourism development potential in Southeast Asia like Indonesia’s Bali and Thailand’s Phuket.

Thanh Thanh