Phu Quoc eyes 2.5 million visitors this year hinh anh 1Foreign visitors get relaxed at Duong Dong beach in Phu Quoc on the National Day holiday. (Photo: VNA)

Kien Giang (VNA) – The resort island of Phu Quoc in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang expects to welcome about 2.5 million tourist arrivals in 2018, up 25 percent from last year.

Since 2015, the island has received more than 4.7 million tourist arrivals, 20.5 percent of which were foreigners. Earnings from tourism grew 42.5 percent annually in average.

According to Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Phu Quoc island district Pham Van Nghiep, Phu Quoc International Airport now has eight airlines operating 12 direct international flights to China, the Republic of Korea, Russia and Thailand and four domestic routes to Can Tho, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Hai Phong.

The lodging services in the island have rapidly expanded to serve the increasing demand of visitors. The island now has more than 600 hotels and other accommodations, offering about 12,000 rooms, of which 10 are rated 3 – 4 star hotels and five rated 5-star

Phu Quoc is very famous for pearl farming, fish sauce, pepper and “ruou sim”, a wine made from sim fruit or Rose Myrtle. A variety of tours are provided for travellers, such as scuba diving, coral reef snorkeling, fishing and tours to visit traditional fish sauce making establishments, pearl farms, Ham Ninh fishing village, Phu Quoc National Park, pristine beaches and many more.

In addition, Nghiep attributed the success of the local tourism industry to new luxurious tourism services, including 500-hectare Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc – the first-ever and largest safari park in Vietnam, Vinpearl Resort & Villas, Vinpearl Land and Vincharm Spa. Earlier this year, the world’s longest sea cable car route was launched in the island, connecting An Thoi town and Hon Thom island, he said.

Phu Quoc was once a sleepy area of around 100,000 people. In recent years, however, the 567sq.m island has become a tourist mecca for thousands of visitors from around the world.

Located 46km from the mainland, the island can be reached by air from HCM City within one hour and from Hanoi within two hours.

In September, it was named by CNN among the top five up-and-coming Asia Pacific destinations to visit this fall.

According to CNN, for those planning their first trip to the Asia-Pacific region, major destinations usually top the list, such as Shanghai and Hong Kong (China), Tokyo (Japan) and Singapore.

“If you're dreaming of a beach getaway in Asia this fall, Phu Quoc in Vietnam should be a top contender. For starters, the dry season begins in November and runs till April,” CNN wrote on its website. 

Formerly a prison island during French colonial times, Phu Quoc's photogenic setting and clear waters caught the attention of international brands like JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay, which debuted its Bill Bensley-designed resort late last year.

There's plenty to do aside from lounging and snorkeling around Ong Lang Beach.

The Phu Quoc Prison Museum offers a peek into the island's dark history while the Phu Quoc National Park and Suoi Tranh Waterfall will spoil nature lovers, it added. –VNA