As Vietnam plans to resume international tourism, it invites tourists to Phu Quoc, the biggest island in the country. By Kumar Shree

Phu Quoc is a Vietnamese island sitting off the coast of Cambodia in the eastern Gulf of Thailand. This island is already one of the most beloved spots for international tourists. And today it will help the Southeast Asian country to test its plans and strategies of resuming international tourism.

 

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Despite sharing its borders with China, Vietnam, which houses a population of about 100 million people, has been globally applauded for its effective management of COVID-19. As per the Worldometer’s latest update, Vietnam has reported a total of 332 cases, out of which 321 have recovered, and there have been zero deaths in the country. As of now, there are only 11 active cases and there has also been no community transmission in the last 49 days.

While those figures suggest a nearly won war, the ministry is devoted to ensuring absolute safety before resuming international tourism. As reported by Travel Daily Media, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Trinh Thi Thuy said, “Tougher measures should be taken to prevent another outbreak of COVID-19.”

 

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Meanwhile, the ministry has also asked the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and Vietnam Tourism Association to start promoting the Phu Quoc island.

Another website, The Thaiger, quoted Thuy’s statement about welcoming tourists to the Phu Quoc island. He said, “People are living there and domestic tourists visit them, and so the risks of community transmission must be considered while allowing international visitors back… We are working with the Health Ministry to develop a set of criteria to ensure safety for international visitors. The tourism industry only wants to receive visitors from countries where the disease has been controlled.”

 

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The ministry is also working to figure out air routes, visa issuance, and lifting of travel restrictions for tourists from countries that have successfully controlled the pandemic. Initially, it is considering visitors from countries like Japan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand.

Phu Quoc, which is also called as ‘pearl island’, became a popular tourist destination after building its international airport in 2012. It further rose to prominence on the tourism map from 2014 onwards, when the government introduced a 30-day visa-free policy for foreigners. Last year alone, it attracted more than five million travellers.

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