Vietnam Announces Reopening of Phu Quoc Island at Global Tourism Forum

Vietnam will welcome back international tourists with vaccine passports to its Phu Quoc resort island in October.
September 17, 2021 | 08:08
A view of Phu Quoc island (Photo: hanoimoi.com.vn)
A view of Phu Quoc island. Photo: hanoimoi.com.vn

Vietnam is working hard to pilot a vaccine passport scheme to welcome back international visitors to Phu Quoc island in October, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Doan Van Viet told the Global Tourism Forum 2021 in Indonesia.

Viet said that after a hiatus of the Covid fight, the tourism industries of many ASEAN countries are now prepared for reopening and hope to stimulate international tourism demand in the near future, VOV reported.

He said the Vietnamese Government recently approved a pilot scheme to welcome international visitors back to Phu Quoc island in the southern province of Kien Giang,

Relevant ministries and agencies are putting the finishing touches to the scheme, toward reopening Vietnam’s international tourism markets, according to the official.

Kien Giang is speeding up vaccination for all residents and workers in the tourism industry on Phu Quoc islands before the pilot scheme is rolled out.

At the forum, representatives from various ASEAN member countries shared their beliefs in the resilience and recovery of the tourism industry of each country and the region at large after the pandemic.

Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno suggested ASEAN strengthen intra-bloc cooperation, promote initiatives and reactivate the local tourism industry.

Vietnam Announces Reopening of Phu Quoc Island at Global Tourism Forum
Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Doan Van Viet and other officials attend the Global Tourism Forum 2021. Photo: Baovanhoa.vn

Deputy Minister Viet said ASEAN member countries should work closely to build and implement recovery plans, as well as standards and procedures for safety in ASEAN tourism in the post-pandemic period.

He also stressed the need to launch online promotional schemes for the ASEAN common destination.

ASEAN countries should share their experiences, strategies and plans to restore the tourism industry in an open manner, while simultaneously boosting the application of digital technology and innovation in the tourism industry.

Who can travel to Phu Quoc?

Crystal blue water off Phu Quoc Island. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Luan
Crystal blue water off Phu Quoc Island. Photo: VnExpress

Under the plan approved by the Vietnamese government, fully immunized tourists from Europe, the US, Northeast Asia, Australia, and the Middle East are allowed to visit Phu Quoc from October.

Under a six-month trial programme, 2,000-3,000 tourists will come every month by charter flight in the first three months, and stay in sequestered resorts and limited areas, VnExpress said.

Then the monthly number will increase to 5,000-10,000 with tourists also arriving by commercial flights, and they will be permitted to visit more destinations on the island.

Visitors need to furnish documents showing they had received two shots of a Covid-19 vaccine approved by Vietnam, the second between 14 days and 12 months before the date of entry, or that they had Covid and recovered in the previous 12 months.

They also need to present a negative PCR result with the test done within 72 hours before departure.

Ensuring safety for tourists

Phu Quoc Island is a top holiday destination in Vietnam. Photo by Shutterstock/Anh Minh.
Phu Quoc Island is a top holiday destination in Vietnam. Photo by Shutterstock/Anh Minh.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and relevant agencies will identify the businesses that will participate in the trial programme.

They need to ensure safety against Covid-19 for tourists and employees and provide quality services. Inbound travel agencies selected must have been in business for more than three years and received at least 30,000 tourists a year.

Hotels are required to have a separate area for the international tourists besides isolated testing and quarantine areas.

If the programme gets underway in October, Phu Quoc will become the first locality in Vietnam to welcome foreign tourists since April 2020.

The government has instructed the Ministry of Health to prioritize allocation of vaccines to Phu Quoc so that at least 90 percent of its population is fully vaccinated in preparation for the reopening.

If it is successful, the government plans to allow other popular tourist destinations such as Hoi An, Ha Long, Nha Trang, and Da Lat to reopen to international visitors to rescue the tourism industry from a crisis./.

Many KOLs select Phu Quoc as a destination for their families' holidays (Photo: VietnamPlus)
Phu Quoc has become a top tourist destination after it built an international airport in 2012. Photo: VietnamPlus

Vietnam recorded a 79 percent decline year-on-year in the number of foreign visitors in 2020 due to travel restrictions amid the pandemic.

The nation welcomed just 3.83 million foreign visitors against a record 18 million in 2019, according to official data.

The government closed national borders and canceled all international flights in March last year. Only Vietnamese repatriates, foreign experts and highly-skilled workers are allowed in with stringent conditions.

A notorious prison site during the French colonial era, Vietnam's 'pearl' island, has gained worldwide popularity in recent years. It opened an international airport in 2012 and has been implementing a 30-day visa-free policy to foreigners since 2014.

The number of tourists to Phu Quoc has increased substantially over the past few years, with a rapid growth of resorts and tourist services across the island.

Phu Quoc welcomed over five million arrivals last year, up 30 percent from 2018. Of these, 541,600 were foreign.

It ranked seventh on TripAdvisor’s list of 25 emerging travel destinations last year./.

New Plans Allow Foreign Tourists to Enter Phu Quoc

New Plans Allow Foreign Tourists to Enter Phu Quoc

According to the plan, Phu Quoc will pilot to welcome international guests from October 1.

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Phu Quoc to welcome international guests in 'vaccine passport' plan

Phu Quoc to welcome international guests in 'vaccine passport' plan

Phu Quoc will pilot "vaccine passports" for international visitors to the island

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