PM stresses determination to turn Phú Quốc into world-class eco-tourism centre

March 31, 2024 - 15:52
It is believed that Phú Quốc has great potential and strengths, and it might be somewhat superior to many tourist islands in the world such as Singapore, Maldives; Jeju Island (South Korea); Nami Island, Chuncheon City (South Korea); Phuket Island, Thailand; Boracay Island, the Philippines, etc.
Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính addresses the meeting on Sunday reviewing the implementation of Decision No.178/2004/QĐ-TTg approving the overall development plan for Phú Quốc Island until 2010 and the vision towards 2020. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

KIÊN GIANG — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính chaired a conference to review the implementation of Decision No. 178/2004/QĐ-TTg by the Prime Minister in 2004 approving the overall development plan for Phú Quốc Island, Kiên Giang Province until 2010 and the vision towards 2020.

According to the Kiên Giang authorities, over nearly 20 years of implementing the Decision, the "island city" has witnessed a lot of positive changes, with high growth reaching nearly 19.6 per cent each year, and economic structure shifting in the right direction - a rapid expansion of proportions of trade and services and industrial construction, along with contraction in agriculture.

The budget collection has increased significantly over the years. In 2004 revenue was merely VNĐ38.59 billion, by 2023, the figure soared 113 times to VNĐ7.812 trillion.

In the last five years, Phú Quốc has not only managed to be self-sufficient in terms of budget but also contributed to the provincial budget.

From a locality with "no investment projects", by 2023, it had boasted 321 investment projects (42.8 per cent of the projects in Kiên Giang), with a total registered capital of over VNĐ412 trillion (US$16.6 billion).

Phú Quốc, once a little-known island district, attracted only over 130,000 tourists in 2004. In 2023, it welcomed around 5.57 million tourist arrivals, an increase of 42.7 times, including over 560,000 international guests, accounting for 4.48 per cent of the nationwide figure.

In particular, Phú Quốc has made its brand known on the world tourism map, with many tourism products of regional and international stature such as the cable car system at Hòn Thơm was recognised by Guinness World Records as the longest cable car in the world, the Grand World entertainment complex, the wild animal safari garden, Phú Quốc Casino, etc.

In 2014, the island was officially connected to the national power grid, also the year when the Phu Quốc International Airport welcomed its first flight.

By now, Phú Quốc is linked with all airports domestically, along with 10 countries and territories.

Cultural and societal issues have received proper attention, with the preservation and promotion of the traditional cultural values of the locality. The income and living standards of the people have been continuously improved; and political security and social order have been firmly maintained.

However, the provincial authorities admitted that the State management apparatus and administrative management of the city have not kept pace with development needs, especially in construction management, land and infrastructure - especially drainage, waste treatment, healthcare and education.

Kiên Giang also proposed some 'special' mechanisms for Phú Quốc as a tourist city to develop tourism and attract visitors, including allowing transit flights and tax incentives.

At the conference, leaders of ministries, sectors, enterprises, experts, and scientists discussed in depth the potential, strengths and achievements in Phú Quốc as well as its limitations.

Delegates believe that Phú Quốc has great potential and strengths, and it might be somewhat superior to many tourist islands in the world such as Singapore, Maldives; Jeju Island (South Korea); Nami Island, Chuncheon City (South Korea); Phuket Island, Thailand; Boracay Island, the Philippines, etc.

With the vision of developing Phú Quốc into an international-class tourism city, there needs to be special, superior mechanisms, policies, trial of some new policies, creating conditions for Phú Quốc to have quantum leaps in development - including piloting of urban administration, special administrative units, policies to increase financial autonomy, mechanisms to attract strategic investment and high-quality human resources.

An Thới Port, Phú Quốc Island. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

PM Chính said that Phú Quốc has a special position, role, potential and strengths, particularly receiving attention and having many policies and mechanisms to promote its development, including Decision No. 178.

The Government leader stressed the determination to build Phú Quốc into a high-quality service and eco-tourism centre, a renowned regional and international island destination, connecting with major economic hubs worldwide to assert Việt Nam's tourism brand on the global map.

The PM called for continued focus on quality transformation and sustainable development in Phú Quốc through six key areas: enhancing institutional and policy frameworks, strategic infrastructure development, decentralisation and empowerment for Phú Quốc, boosting production, business, and job creation based on science, technology, innovation, and cultural heritage exploitation, intensifying support from ministries, sectors, and localities to achieve the set goals.

To ensure sustainable development, the PM stressed the importance of environmental protection, particularly forest and marine ecosystem conservation, effective land and resource management, climate change adaptation, biodiversity conservation and restoration of the forest ecosystem within Phú Quốc National Park.

Based on the conference outcomes, the Government will develop a plan and issue appropriate documents for consideration and decision-making by relevant authorities, serving as a basis for expediting the rapid and sustainable development in Phú Quốc. — VNS