Hanoi (VNA) – Phu Quoc island in the southern province of Kien Giang has become a luxury eco-resort destination of tourists from Vietnam and abroad over the past time, with the presence of many hi-end resort brands in the world.

Major tour operators across the country all say Phu Quoc is one of the “hot” destinations chosen by a large number of tourists for their year-end holidays.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and Kien Giang province expect Phu Quoc to be a safe, quality and attractive pearl island for Vietnamese tourists, a preparatory step to welcome international visitors once possible.

Assessing the opportunities for Phu Quoc tourism in the new period, Ha Van Sieu, VNAT Deputy Director General, said Phu Quoc was the first place to be selected for the implementation of the tourism promotion programme entitled “Cham vao nguyen so” (Touching the primitive beauty).

The programme, jointly held by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the provincial Department of Tourism and the Phu Quoc Investment and Tourism Development Association (PITDA), aimed to stimulate travel demand among domestic vacationists after the COVID-19 outbreaks.

Participating travel firms introduced potential of Phu Quoc, dubbed as a “pearl island”, and famous people talked about their experiences in the locality during the programme. All activities aimed to promote Phu Quoc as a paradise for leisure tourism and an ideal destination for holidaymakers in the year.

Sieu expressed his hope that the event would give a boost to Phu Quoc tourism during the closing months of this year, while promoting activities in other localities nationwide.

Regarding tourism projects that have been implemented in Phu Quoc, the official said investors have focused to develop high-quality products, with special attention paid to the environment. They have poured huge money into new resorts that are connected with eco-marine recreational areas.

He said he hopes that with such large-scale investments, Phu Quoc tourism will take off in the future.

Under the island district’s development strategy, many incentives have been offered to investors to help the island tap its full potential. Phu Quoc has the best mechanisms and incentives in the whole country. Its corporate and personal income taxes are the lowest nationwide while land rents are waived for the first four years and cut by 50 percent for the next nine years These incentives have drawn big investments from local and international firms.

Phu Quoc, dubbed pearl island, is the biggest island in the country at around 600 square kilometres.

With white sandy beaches and balmy weather almost all year round — since two-thirds of the island is covered in forests — Phu Quoc is a holiday-goers’ paradise.

“What attracts tourists the most are the island’s wild beaches, its warm weather which allows tourists to bathe in the sea almost all year round, and its diverse landscapes from mountain to forest and sea,” said an official from of the Phu Quoc district People’s Committee.

Phu Quoc has become a top tourist destination after it built an international airport in 2012 and the Government rolled out a 30-day visa-free policy for foreigners in 2014.

The island received over five million visitors last year, up 30 percent from 2018, including 541,600 foreigners.

Kien Giang plans to develop high-quality tourism products and train human resources in the sector in order to improve service quality.

The province will also invest in road infrastructure to connect tourist sites in and outside the locality, as well as in seaport infrastructure to ensure safety for holiday-makers.

According to the provincial Department of Tourism, the local sector is expected to earn more than 8 trillion VND (343.52 million USD) this year, down 12 trillion VND.

In the first 10 months of this year, Kien Giang welcomed about 5.2 million visitors, a drop of 40.7 percent year-on-year, including 184,000 international tourists, down 74 percent./.