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Vietnam’s Phu Quoc looks to entice tourists back

Vietnam’s Phu Quoc looks to entice tourists back

Wednesday, November 15, 2023, 13:16 GMT+7
Vietnam’s Phu Quoc looks to entice tourists back
The Phu Quoc City People’s Committee is stepping up efforts to handle overcharging in Vietnam's island city. Photo: Chi Cong / Tuoi Tre

Phu Quoc, an island city off Kien Giang Province in southern Vietnam, is trying to find ways to crack down on bad behavior by service operators, vendors, and drivers, while removing some obstacles to bring back domestic and international visitors.

The municipal People’s Committee on Tuesday held a conference on civilized behavior in a bid to create an ideal travel environment for tourists.

Several travel firms, waterway transport operators, and car service providers put forward a series of measures to deal with overcharging, high commissions, intense invitations for goods, and environmental pollution.

Tour operators expect Phu Quoc to roll out more unique festivals and distinctive tourism products to make the city more appealing to travelers.

Lam Kim Phuong, director of Vietravel’s branch on Phu Quoc, said that sellers are still bothering and forcing visitors to buy goods at the night market in the city, discouraging tourists from entering the place for sightseeing and food.

Phu Quoc authorities should take action to cope with the problem in order to impress visitors, Phuong said.

Truong Cong Tam, chairman of the Phu Quoc City Professional Tour Guide Association, said that paying commissions at high rates of up to 35 percent to tour guides and drivers would affect the tourism sector.

Meanwhile, multiple restaurants and eateries set sky-high prices for menus and products.

The city should launch regular inspections of catering service providers and tour guides, and impose harsh sanctions on violators.

These proposals were meant to make tourists feel safe and comfortable during their trip to Phu Quoc City, he said.

Doan Van Tien (standing), vice chairman of Phu Quoc City People’s Committee, speaks at a conference on November 14, 2023 to table measures to entice tourists back to the city. Photo: Chi Cong / Tuoi Tre

Doan Van Tien (standing), vice-chairman of the Phu Quoc City People’s Committee, speaks at a conference on November 14, 2023 to table measures to entice tourists back to the island city. Photo: Chi Cong / Tuoi Tre

Since July last year, the city has received 10 calls from tourists complaining about travel firms’ bad behavior, said Huynh Thanh Minh, head of the municipal economic division.

The city asked firms active in tourism to build a behavioral etiquette code for tourism, while tour guides and drivers were told not to rip off tourists.

Minh said that the city’s communes and wards would launch unannounced checks on prices to protect the benefits of tourists.

The city will examine the real value of products and the prices at restaurants and eateries, while encouraging tourists to report overcharging via the municipal administration’s hotline.

The number of travelers to Phu Quoc City during the holidays celebrating Reunification Day (April 30), International Workers' Day (May 1), and National Day (September 2) plunged against the same periods last year, according to Doan Van Tien, vice-chairman of the Phu Quoc administration.

Phu Quoc is seeing a gradual rebound in tourist arrivals.

Over the past few days, some 24,000 travelers have visited the island city.

The local administration assigned the economic division to chair conferences discussing measures to develop tourism twice a year.

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Tieu Bac - Chi Cong / Tuoi Tre News


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