For most of our colleagues working in South East Asia, they are probably already aware of the fact that Vietnam is doing quite well, when it comes to overall economic growth and development, especially in the hospitality sector. Because Vietnam has enjoyed a steady GDP of 7% over the last few years and the outlook keeps as well very promising.
Phú Quốc Island becoming international tourism magnet
Phú Quốc Island has become one of the hottest holiday spots in the country in recent years as the local and central governments have gone ahead with ambitious plans to develop it into an international hub for eco-tourism, resort tourism and amusement and a regional financial centre.
Phú Quốc, 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 — Phú Quốc 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,” Huỳnh Quang Hưng, deputy chairman of the Phú Quốc District People’s Committee, said.
Since the island was connected to the national electrical grid and a visa waiver policy which gives foreigners a 30-day visa-free stay was adopted in 2014, foreigners have been flocking to the island.
According to figures from the local administration, last year the island received 1.96 million visitors, a 35 per cent year-on-year increase.
It included more than 360,000 foreign visitors, up 72 per cent.
The island’s accommodation and food services sector earned more than VNĐ11.6 trillion (US$510 million), up 30 per cent.
In the first quarter of this year the number of visitors zoomed to 760,000, a 37 per cent rise over the same period last year. Foreign arrivals doubled to 286,000.
Tourists from countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, China, and South Korea, but also from faraway places like Sweden, Russia, the UK, and Italy, travel here more often now thanks to direct flights from many countries to Phú Quốc International Airport.
Some 70-80 flights arrive and depart from the airport every day, including eight to 10 international flights.
During the high travel season such as summer and national holidays, the number can reach 100, according to Hưng.
Authorities are upgrading the airport to handle five million visitors a year by 2020 and seven million by 2030, including 40 per cent foreigners.
Soon domestic flights to Đà Nẵng, Vinh, and Lâm Đồng and international flights to Japan, Thailand and European countries are expected to start.