Following the arrival of tourists in Da Nang and Quang Nam on November 17, Kien Giang’s Phu Quoc officially welcomed 204 vaccinated South Korean nationals on Saturday, the first batch of international visitors to enjoy Vietnam’s largest island.
Straight from Seoul onboard a Vietjet flight, the tourists were warmly welcomed by authorities at a ceremony at Phu Quoc International Airport, where they were greeted with a water salute, received flowers and gifts from their hosts.
As part of the country’s revival of the tourism sector, vaccinated tourists no longer have to spend a single day in quarantine but are required to enjoy their holiday only within the mega-complex resort Vinpearl and will be tested twice during their trip — upon arrival and when they leave. They’ll get access to Vinpearl’s VinWonder Amusement Park, Vinpearl Safari, Vinpearl Golf, Corona Casino, and GrandWorld Complex.
Travelers also need to furnish vaccination certificates or proof that they’ve recovered from COVID-19 and have tested negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours before departure from their home country. Upon landing in Vietnam, they need to install IGOVN and PC-COVID mobile apps for health and movement tracking.
After nearly two years of tourism suspension due to COVID-19, Nguyen Trung Khanh, head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said this is a step towards resuming tourism in the country. "We want to offer tourists a new experience amid a new normalcy in which they can live fully in Phu Quoc and then live fully in Vietnam," Khanh added.
In time for the best time to visit the island, as the temperatures are pleasant and the skies are clear from November thru March, Nguyen Luu Trung, deputy chairman of Kien Giang People's Committee, also expressed his excitement saying the event marks a new chapter for Phu Quoc's tourism. "We believe with cooperation between businesses, until the end of the year, Phu Quoc could receive and serve up to 400,000 tourists.”
In September, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh agreed to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism’s proposal to pilot a plan to reopen the resort island of Phu Quoc to foreign travelers from the US, Australia, Europe, Middle East, and Northeast Asia countries.
Following a post-COVID-19 tourism recovery road map, Vietnam expects to reopen to foreign tourists by June 2022, according to an announcement from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
Phu Quoc is among the first localities in Vietnam to trial the vaccine passport program. Quang Nam, Khanh Hoa, Quang Ninh and Danang have also received the green light to receive fully vaccinated foreign travelers for quarantine-free vacation.
A group of 30 international visitors from the US, South Korea, and Canada arrived in Quang Nam and 29 in Danang. More foreign travelers are expected to arrive in Vietnam in December through chartered flights and special arrangements.