An increasing number of European tourists have booked tours to Phu Quoc Island off Kien Giang Province in recent months.
Tour bookings to Phu Quoc have grown steadily in recent years. Meanwhile, Nha Trang and Phan Thiet have experienced a decrease in tourist arrivals, according to Ung Phuong Dung, director of ICS Travel Group.
Bui Viet Thuy Tien, managing director of Asian Trails Co Ltd., said many European partners had asked her company for information about Phu Quoc at ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair early this month.
She added bookings of Phu Quoc tours have posted strong growth. “European tourists frequently flock to the island, especially from November to March, to escape freezing winter.”
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said that on the occasion of the fair, representatives of two major European tour operators, TUI Group and Alpitour World, have expressed keen interest in co-launching chartered flights to transport British and Italian travelers to Phu Quoc on a weekly basis, starting from the end of this year.
TUI Group is expected to bring at least 8,000 tourists to Vietnam’s laid-back island in the first five years.
Western tourists are more inclined to visit islands. Hence, with its largely unspoiled natural beauty, the off-the-beaten-track destination has become more attractive to them than crowded places like Nha Trang and Phan Thiet.
However, an increasingly large amount of untreated waste and wastewater on the island has raised environmental concerns among travelers and tour operators.
Tien said some of her European partners have recently visited the island to explore tourism potentials. By the end of the trip, the most frequent question they asked her was whether the marine environment would be safe for their customers.
Those at the fair also had the same concern, asking about the treatment of wastewater in the area.
“Products and competitive prices are the first two key factors to persuade them into bringing customers, but the environmental factor is also another major issue. Phu Quoc has been very attractive to tourists, so (the local government) needs to clean up the environment. Otherwise, the destination will gradually lose its appeal,” she said.
Via : Sapa Luxury Travel