Phu Quoc first to welcome tourists back

HANOI, 12 June 2020 Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has identified Phu Quoc Island as the most feasible destination to reintroduce international tourism to the country.

Ministry officials told Vietnam News Agency the task of opening up the island has been handed to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and Vietnam Tourism Association to work with Kien Giang authorities.

If all goes to plan the country’s first international tourists, post-Covid-19 will head for Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island that lies off the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang. Other island resorts will remain closed.

Conditions will apply possibly with PCR swab tests carried out the island’s airport. Depending on the results, travellers could be required to undergo 14 days quarantine. But if all passengers on the inbound flights are clear after waiting for 24 hours for the test result, they would be free to commence their Phu Quoc holiday without further restrictions.

The ministry is now working with relevant ministries and agencies on air routes, visa issuance and the lifting of travel restrictions for tourists from several countries and regions that have managed to control the Covid-19 pandemic.

VNAT’s main website went offline in May this year. A commercial website Vietnam Tourism outsourced to a private firm does present basic travel content targeting tourists directly but not of the quality of the VNAT now-defunct website.

Phu Quoc is now the country’s main island beach resort and the only one that will reopen to tourists in the near future.  It has its own international airport since 2012 and travellers who fly directly to the island can enjoy a 30-day visa-free stay. However, it is not yet clear whether the visa-free status for the island will be reinstated.

The island received over 5 million visitors last year, up 30% from 2018, including 541,600 foreigners according to VNA.

(Source: VNA).