The Vietnamese holiday island of Phu Quoc welcomes its first international visitors since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic on Saturday with the arrival of 204 South Korean tourists under Vietnam’s new vaccine passport scheme.
According to local media reports, the arrivals flew from Seoul into Phu Quoc International Airport around midday where they were processed before being transported directly to Phu Quoc United Center – their home base for the week.
Located in the north of the island, Phu Quoc United Center is a US$2.8 billion development by real estate giant VinGroup. It is described as a “super tourism resort entertainment complex”, covering more than 1,000 hectares and providing around 12,000 hotel rooms across a number of 5-star hotel brands plus Vietnam’s largest theme park, VinWonders Phu Quoc, an animal conservation park, 18-hole Golf Course, a shopping and entertainment precinct, MICE facilities, multimedia shows, 24-hour street markets and a hospital.
The development also comprises Corona Resort & Casino – opened in January 2019 by Phú Quốc Tourism Development and Investment Company and still the only casino in Vietnam at which locals are allowed to gamble.
As previously reported by Inside Asian Gaming, Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has named five cities and provinces – Kien Giang, Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam, Da Nang and Quang Ninh – that are allowed to welcome foreign tourists from this month under the first phase of the country’s roadmap to reopening.
Tourists must, however, be fully vaccinated, book a package tour with a designated travel agency, receive a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure and confirm their place of residence and where they intend to visit before arriving.
Phu Quoc had welcomed 5.1 million tourists prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, of which around half a million were international arrivals – primarily from China, South Korea, Japan and Russia.