A policy to grant a 30-day visa exemption for foreign passport holders visiting Phu Quoc Island off the coast of the southern province of Kien Giang took effect on March 10.
Visa exemption is also applicable to those foreigners, who are in transit at an international border gate in Vietnam (including by air or by sea) to Phu Quoc island.
The visa policy is expected to help transform the world-famous tourist Phu Quoc destination into a national and international hi-end holiday heaven.
Phu Quoc is Vietnam’s largest island. The 574 – sq.km heart-shaped island, along with 22 other islands, forms Phu Quoc island district.
Phu Quoc features a monsoon tropical climate. It has two seasons, the dry season from November to April and the rainy season from May to October. The average temperature there is 28 degrees Celsius, allowing visitors to enjoy the island’s beauty at any time of the year.
On February 14, the first international direct flight, run by Russia’s IKAR airlines, with 250 Russian tourists onboard landed at Phu Quoc International Airport, which is capable of catering for modern aircraft like the Boeing 777 and Boeing 747-400.
Meanwhile, passengers hailing from Hanoi, the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City are offered a variety of services provided by Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air and Jetstar Pacific, which operate 25 flights using A321, A320 and ATR72 planes in and out of the destination every day.
The island, dubbed "Paradise Pearl Island", is now included in the eight-day Vietnam voyage itinerary of the luxury Europa II cruise, which services more than 750 customers and crew, mainly German, per tour, Saigontourist has said.
The Ho Chi Minh City-based travel company said the Hapag-Lloyd-operated ship Hanseatic, with around 1,000 passengers onboard, will dock at the island on April 23.
In the meantime, hotels and resorts on the island are having 3,000 hotel rooms, including 2,000 three-star rooms.
In 2013, Phu Quoc welcomed 94,000 foreign visitors out of its total 416,000 arrivals.
By 2020, the year set for Phu Quoc Island to become a special administrative-economic zone, the island is expected to gross 771 million USD from providing hospitality services to 2-3 million tourists annually, 40 percent of them foreigners.