Fringed with white-sand beaches and with large tracts still cloaked in dense tropical jungle, Phu Quoc rapidly morphed from a sleepy island backwater to a must-visit beach escape for Western expats and sun-seeking tourists.
Bright prospects for Phu Quoc Island’s development
Phu Quoc Island, dubbed the Pearl Island, in the southern province of Kien Giang expects to see a new boost to its socio-economic development with the planned launch on November 1 of two international air routes connecting the island and Singapore and Cambodia’s Siem Reap.
Accordingly, the national carrier Vietnam Airlines will run two flights a week between Phu Quoc and Singapore by A320 aircraft from November 2 and three flights a week between Phu Quoc and Siem Reap by ATR-72 planes from November 18.
Representatives from Korean Air and Hanjin Travel company of the Republic of Korea recently visited Phu Quoc to study possibilities for a direct air route linking the island with the Republic of Korea’s Incheon city.
In addition, Kien Giang province and the Ministry of Transport have approved a project worth more than 1.2 trillion VND to build an international sea port in Duong Dong town, with a capacity of 105,000-190,000 passengers per year by 2020 and 350,000-550,000 passengers a year by 2030.
In line with the plan to turn Phu Quoc into a special administrative-economic zone and an international tourism hub, various key infrastructure projects are underway on the island.
The island is now connected to the national electricity grid. A road system around the island is also about to be completed, thus helping facilitate the travel of locals and tourists.
Vice Chairman of Phu Quoc People’s Committee Huynh Quang Hung said many tourism projects, including several upscale hotels and resorts, are being implemented on schedule, while a number of international groups have also come to survey the business environment on the island.
According to Phu Quoc Island’s investment and development management board, the island has to date licensed 112 investment projects. They cover 4,850 hectares of land with the total capital of more than 135 trillion VND (6.43 billion USD).
As of now, 18 projects worth 6.85 trillion VND have begun operating, contributing importantly to the rapid development of the island.
Located on the Vienam-Cambodia-Thailand marine economic corridor, Phu Quoc island district covers more than 589sq.km with a population of over 96,940. It comprises 27 islands with Phu Quoc being the largest.
As a tourist hub in Kien Giang, Phu Quoc, dubbed the Pearl Island, has also earned reputation worldwide. Phu Quoc Airport welcomed more than 5,600 flights with as many as 666,000 passengers in the first eight months of 2014.
Over the past eight years, Phu Quoc’s economy has seen a strong development towards tourism and services, with average growth of 26 percent a year and per capita income of 82 million VND a year.
Italian media praises Phu Quoc Island as “paradise”
La Repubblica, a top Italian daily newspaper, recently ran an article on Vietnam’s best beaches, describing Phu Quoc Island in the southern province of Kien Giang as a small paradise.
According to the review, Phu Quoc - Vietnam’s biggest island is a hidden gem surrounded by the beauty of nature, offers tourists untouched beaches as well as a wide range of enticing activities from scuba diving to sightseeing at numerous historical relic sites and islands at very fair prices.
The paper said it only takes a short time by plane or ship from Ho Chi Minh City to reach the island. It suggested Phu Quoc as an ideal destination instead of Thailand or Indonesia for Italian vacationers to escape from the upcoming European winter.
Another must-go site stressed by the article was Mui Ne beach which people across Vietnam said is the best sea-bathing spot with pleasant weather, long seashore and fresh seafood dishes.
Con Dao Island and the central coastal city of Da Nang were also introduced by the La Repubblica.
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