A Thai familiarization trip (fam trip) group visited Phu Quoc Island, off Kien Giang Province in southern Vietnam, for a survey tour earlier this week as a preparation for bringing more Thai travelers to the offshore island city, commonly known as the ‘pearl island.’
Some 30 members of the group started their three-day tour of Phu Quoc on Wednesday with a welcome from the provincial Department of Tourism, Kien Giang Tourism Association, and local travel firms.
“This is the first Thai tourist group that has visited Phu Quoc since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit Vietnam in early 2020,” said Nguyen Chi Thanh, deputy director of the Kien Giang Department of Tourism.
During their stay, the fam trip group enjoyed a cable car journey on Hon Thom (Pineapple Islet), part of Phu Quoc Island City, and visited Phu Quoc prison relics, Long Beach Center, VinWonders Phu Quoc Theme Park, and Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc.
|Thai fam trip members and other tourists are seen at the Aquarium at VinWonders Phu Quoc, one of the attractive destinations on Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province, Vietnam. Photo: C. Cong / Tuoi Tre|
Korakot Kongsangsri, a business specialist at Best Consortium, a Thai travel firm, said he was very impressed with the characteristics of the land and people on Phu Quoc.
He added that the tourism services on the island are attractive and suitable to the tastes of Thai travelers.
After their survey tour, the group will certainly act as a connection to bring more Thai visitors to Phu Quoc as soon as possible, Kongsangsri promised.
The group’s visit is expected to help Kien Giang lure more Thai tourists, a segment which currently accounts for just a small share of the total foreign arrivals to the province, Thanh said.
Kien Giang welcomed 3,055 travelers from Thailand in 2019, just 12 percent higher than the previous year and a very small portion of the total number of Thai visitors to Vietnam in that year.
“We highly appreciate the efforts of Vietjet Aviation Joint Stock Company and Quang Nam Province-based Indochina Unique Tourist Co. Ltd. in acting as the bridges between Thai travel firms and provincial tourism service providers to help boost arrivals from Thailand,” the official stated.
|This image shows Thai tourists taking photos during their survey tour of Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province, Vietnam. Photo: C. Cong / Tuoi Tre|
Such endeavors are very significant in speeding up the recovery of Phu Quoc’s tourism sector from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the province expects the number of international visitors to the island to increase from the upcoming summer travel season, Thanh added.
Phu Quoc, previously a district of Kien Giang, was turned into Vietnam’s first island city in March last year, pursuant to a resolution issued by the National Assembly Standing Committee in late 2020.
Over the past years, tourism has become an important economic sector of Phu Quoc, with the overall rise in annual arrivals to the island city before the pandemic reaching 28 percent, and for international arrivals only, the growth is over 45 percent per year, local leaders said.