A beach in Phú Quốc before the COVID-19 pandemic. — VNA/VNS Photo Trường Giang
PHÚ QUỐC — A new COVID-19 outbreak on Phú Quốc Island will not affect plans to reopen the destination to international visitors from November, local authorities announced on Thursday.
The island, which is located off the southern coast of Việt Nam, was a major international tourist destination before the COVID-19 pandemic. Phú Quốc will once again begin receiving foreign tourists, providing they are fully vaccinated, from November this year.
The latest COVID-19 cluster on Phú Quốc was discovered just a few hours after social distancing measures were relaxed on September 20. At least 16 more cases have been reported since.
Vice chairman of Kiên Giang People’s Committee, Nguyễn Lưu Trung, said the authorities have conducted isolation, tracing and quarantine work to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Vice chairman said the province, with approval from the Government, will continue with the plan to open the island, noting that the new outbreak is a challenge and a test for the island.
According to Director of Kiên Giang’s Department of Tourism, Bùi Quốc Thái, the province will first pilot the process of transporting tourists from the airport to hotels from November 1-10, before officially receiving visitors.
Hòn Thơm Cable Car, the world’s longest sea cable car system, on Phú Quốc Island — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Đạt
Initially, Phú Quốc will only welcome tourists who have booked package tours organised by travel agencies. These visitors will enter Việt Nam by air, through charter or commercial flights.
The province has selected 14 four and five-star hotels for the pilot programme, with a total capacity of 8,000 rooms. All staff have been fully inoculated against COVID-19.
According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's plan, the island was due to pilot receiving foreign tourists in October. This was then postponed until November due to the low vaccination rate.
In the first three months of the plan, the island is expecting to welcome 3,000-5,000 tourists a month, initially to limited destinations on the island.
Following this, the number of tourists will increase to a maximum of 10,000 a month, and more destinations will open.
As of September 21, Kiên Giang Province has been given more than 371,000 doses of vaccine, accounting for 14.9 per cent of the population above 18 in the province. The Health Ministry has also given an additional 300,000 doses to Phú Quốc Island as it prepares for reopening. — VNS
Tourism administration launches Phú Quốc tourism promotion video
A video titled “Việt Nam: Đi Để Yêu! Roam Phú Quốc” was released on YouTube on September 22, aiming to give viewers a taste of the “Pearl Island”.
The clip is part of a programme to promote Vietnamese tourism on YouTube, organised by the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), with support from Vinpearl and Google.
The video offers viewers a brief tour of some of the islands most renowned spots, such as the Móng Tay and Gầm Ghì islets, the Trúc Lâm Hộ Quốc Zen Monastery, Phú Quốc United Centre - the largest entertainment and resort complex in Việt Nam - and Hòn Thơm Cable Car, the world’s longest sea cable car system.
Beautiful beaches, crystal clear seawater and fresh seafood are also shown, showcasing the natural beauty that tourists can enjoy.
VNAT' s aim is to highlight the beauty of the island and encourage travel lovers to come and explore Phú Quốc. — VNS