Last updated: Wednesday, April 24, 2019


Phu Quoc Paradise

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Endowed with perfect climate and natural marine resources in combination with abundant investment resources for infrastructure development, Phu Quoc Island has become a paradise, a strong-growing tourist destination. However, how to lift tourism to a new high strategically is still a matter to be discussed.

Abundant tourism potential and investment
Lying offshore from southwest Vietnam, Phu Quoc is known as a pearl island with a natural green environment, fresh climate, long smooth sandy beaches and it has become a must-visit destination for domestic and international visitors.

Not only famous for historical sites such as Phu Quoc Prison, Ho Quoc Pagoda, Dinh Cau Palace, Phu Quoc Night Market, Phu Quoc Vinpearl Land and Safari Wildlife Park, Phu Quoc is known as a large island cluster with primeval forests, fertile soil and abundant fresh water that facilitate marine tourism development in combination with nature conservation and scientific research.

Phu Quoc also attracts visitors with its traditional handicraft villages such as traditional anchovy fish sauce, pepper, and pearl farming. Here, visitors not only discover picturesque landscapes and buy indigenous gifts at reasonable prices but also have the opportunity to experience culture, go sightseeing and learn how to make home-grown products.

In addition, Phu Quoc waters are rich in maritime creatures, particularly valuable species like shrimp, squid, crab, jumperfish, pearl and blood oysters. This fishing ground can catch 464,000 tonnes. This water features coral reef ecosystems with 252 species belonging to 49 genera, 14 hard coral families and 19 soft coral families, covering 473.9 ha. Besides, seagrass, consisting nine species, covers a total area of 10,600 ha.

Due to its special advantages, Phu Quoc has experienced rapid growth and excelled in tourism quality. According to the statistics released by the Kien Giang Tourism Department, in 2017, Phu Quoc attracted about three million domestic and foreign visitors, accounting for more than half of tourist arrivals to Kien Giang. In the first 10 months of 2018, Phu Quoc welcomed nearly two million visitors. In particular, the operation of the longest crossing cable car system, Hon Thom, has strengthened the appeal of Phu Quoc to tourists and investors.

Currently, 274 tourism investment projects are still active in Kien Giang province, including 218 projects in Phu Quoc. Among them, 30 projects with a combined investment capital of VND31,073 billion have gone into operation and hired 914 ha of land. Most investment projects are engaged in material and technical tourism facilities such as hotels, resorts, trade centres, shopping malls, entertainment and recreation centres. Many sizeable investment projects, including 5, 6-star world-class resorts and amusement facilities, have turned Phu Quoc into one of the most attractive tourist destinations, thereby helping raise life quality of local people.

With a rapid development pace, particularly in the past two years, Phu Quoc has been regarded as a paradise to live. Mr Huynh Quang Hung, Vice Chairman of Phu Quoc District People's Committee, said, “Phu Quoc economy is growing at a relatively high rate, with its GDP growing 38.5 per cent a year on average in 2010 - 2017, up to 3.7 times higher than the growth of Kien Giang province and 6 times higher the country’s rate. As a result, the material and spiritual life of Phu Quoc people has been improved remarkably. In 2017, per capita GDP of Phu Quoc was US$5,174, doubling the province’s value and bringing poverty rate down to one per cent.

Lifting Phu Quoc tourism to a new high
Despite tourism advantages, tourist arrivals are still unmatched with local potential.

To develop tourism as guided by the Resolution 03 on Kien Giang tourism development to 2020 and further to 2030 to bring Phu Quoc economy and tourism to a new plane, Kien Giang province targeted to build Phu Quoc Special Zone into a marine tourism hub, a world-class resort centre with a modern, green, friendly and safe living environment, a dynamic and efficient economic zone with high-class services, entertainment, trade, exhibition and conference centres of the national, regional and international classes to turn this place a paradise to live for every family, said Mr Nguyen Giai Phong, Deputy Director of the Kien Giang Investment Promotion and Trade Centre.

Besides, Phu Quoc determines to develop tourism into a key economic sector, intensively utilise and invest in tourism potential. “To do this, the most important solution is to develop friendly tourism products and minimise environmental impacts. These products are of high quality, diversity and value, meeting all visitors’ needs. Priority should be given to developing marine, cultural and ecological tourism, focusing on green tourism products, respecting local natural and cultural factors,” he added.

Speaking at the conference on Phu Quoc - Paradise to live, representatives of tourism associations said, it is necessary to quickly and synchronously build the Green Tourism Label to certify restaurants, hotels and travel firms that meet environmental protection and sustainable development standards.

A majority of travel businesses said that Phu Quoc also needs to mobilise investment resources to construct infrastructure, human resources and unique tourism products. Attracting investment funds for resorts, entertainment centres, convention and exhibition centres, trade services and high-end shopping facilities is another way to boost up strong tourism development.

Clearly, with great tourism potential, right development policy and investment from authorities and businesses, Phu Quoc will not only be a paradise to live but also an ideal destination on the tourism map of Vietnam and the world.

Mr Luong Duy Ngan, Chairman and CEO of New Star Group
In recent years, Phu Quoc has emerged to become a top destination in the country. But, to develop more strongly and attract more domestic and foreign tourists, Phu Quoc needs to build traffic routes to tourist destinations and construct tourist accommodation facilities. In addition, it needs to diversify recreational activities, especially the night-time.

Mr Truong Duc Hai, Chairman of G7 Travel Association, Director of Hon Ngoc Vien Dong Travel Company
At present, tourists to Phu Quoc are increasing while tourist guides are not very well-qualified. Travel companies, when organising tours, must bring guides from the mainland. This is very unreasonable. For that reason, it is necessary to pay attention to training and improving guide quality to ensure service quality for tourists.

Besides, at border-sharing sites with Cambodia, many troublesome administrative procedures are upsetting tourists. Kien Giang province should seek measures to streamline and simplify administrative procedures and documents to make it easier to attract inbound guests.

In addition, a lot of foreign tourists are very keen on exploring primeval forests while these places are hard to reach. The province and the tourism sector as well should pay more attention to risk aversion for visitors.

Ms Nguyen Thi Ngoc Lien, Director of Lenka Tour Hanoi Company
Phu Quoc’s transportation infrastructure has not yet received sufficient care. Dong Duong Town is the capital of Phu Quoc District but roads are very dusty, trashy and weedy. Some traffic routes to places of interest like Cua Can and Rach Vem Village are not invested.

Nightlife in Phu Quoc remains undiversified with most services being high-class, not popular for the masses and for kids. Dong Duong Town has only one sightseeing activity - Phu Quoc Night Market but it is short in the day.

To keep tourists staying longer, Kien Giang province in general and Phu Quoc district in particular need to invest more in infrastructure items to unlock local tourism potential.

Giang Tu

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