October: The golden time for Phu Quoc tourism
The success in welcoming the first international visitors to Phu Quoc Island is expected to have a huge media impact.
In late May 2020, tourism experts proposed opening some islands in Vietnam such as Phu Quoc and Con Dao to international tourists but the proposal never launched. This time, the plan to welcome international visitors with vaccine passports to Phu Quoc Island in Kien Giang Province has been approved by the Prime Minister. The island is expected to have the first guests in October.
Duong Mai Lan, Director of Ascend Travel, says that this is a very good direction to quickly restore the tourism industry of Vietnam in general and Phu Quoc in particular. Opening the door for guests with a vaccine passport has been done by many countries and this is considered the only solution for the tourism industry at the moment.
Tran Quoc Vu, CEO of Vtravel Vietnam, General Secretary of the Tourism Association of Kien Giang Province, said that accepting the vaccine passport is the way for countries to reopen, restore aviation and tourism industries, and create a push to develop related service industries.
However, the localities open for international tourists must also achieve herd immunity, with at least 70% of local people receiving two doses of Covid-19 vaccine. Up to now, no locality in Vietnam, including Phu Quoc - which is allowed to welcome international arrivals in October - has achieved it.
Therefore, Nguyen Tran Hoang Phuong, Chairman of Golden Smile Travel, said that this is a golden time for Phu Quoc to accelerate vaccinations.
Nguyen Ngoc Toan, Director of Images Travel Company (specializing in serving European tourists), told VietNamNet that people who prefer resort tours are mainly Russian and Eastern European visitors. They often travel in November-December so it is suitable for Vietnam to begin welcoming foreign tourists in October or November.
Toan noted that this plan should be carried out as soon as possible. Initially, instead of organizing many flights a day, only 2-3 flights per week will be enough so that tourists will be served well.
He cited Thailand's Sandbox program as a good example for Vietnam. When the first visitors arrived at Phuket airport, it was news on major global media outlets.
Van Don international airport in Quang Ninh province was selected to welcome the first visitors with a "vaccine passport" on September 4.
Phu Quoc is expected to be first destination to receive foreign tourists after the Government approved the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’ proposal on a pilot plan to welcome tourists back under the vaccine passport program.