Government AffairsTest plan to reopen Vietnam's largest island is offering hope for the tourism industry.

Phu Quoc eyes September reopening to vaccinated tourists

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Corporate investors such as local conglomerate Vingroup has stepped up its investment in Phu Quoc. Pictured: Grand World by Phu Quoc
Corporate investors such as local conglomerate Vingroup has stepped up its investment in Phu Quoc. Pictured: Grand World by Phu Quoc Photo Credit: Vingroup

Vietnam's southern resort island of Phu Quoc has announced plans to fully vaccinate its residents by September in order to open up the destination to vaccinated visitors.

As part of Vietnam's vaccine passport pilot plan, the first phase of Phu Quoc's vaccination plan is expected to roll out in July and the second phase in September, in total requiring some 220,000 doses for the island's entire population of 100,000.

Fully vaccinated tourists from Russia, Phu Quoc's top source market prior to the pandemic, will be the first to be targeted in what the island calls a "closed tourism model" — where they would stay in a resort with restricted movements.

The reopening plan will then be extended to travellers from Covid-safe countries where vaccination rates are high, according to the Vietnamese authorities.

Local travel firms are expressing support. Nguyen Tien Dat, CEO of Hanoi-based tourism company AZA Travel, told VnExpress International that the pilot is "completely feasible", pointing to similar plans by Phuket, due to open on 1 July, and Bali, which is planning to reopen the island.

Being relatively isolated from the mainland also makes Phu Quoc an ideal choice to trial the vaccine passport project, Nguyen noted.

Phu Quoc is also set to become a prominent resort destination in Southeast Asia, fuelled by US$16 billion of tourism-related investment.

These include Grand World by local conglomerate, Vingroup, which has opened restaurants, theme park, casino, golf course, nightly water shows, and 12,000 hotel rooms. Still to open are a safari, and entertainment zone.

Another local real estate company, Sun Group, has finished constructing a theme park and an over-the-sea aerial tramway on the island.

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