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Pearl Island: Jewel in the Crown of Vietnam Revival
10 June 2020 | Written by Chris Alexander

Vietnam’s biggest and most popular island is set for a return to normal tourism operations, as the country begins steadily reopening travel destinations nationwide. Phu Quoc, also known as Pearl Island, will become one of the first locations back in business, as the government trials its revival plans ahead of a full reopening at the beginning of next month. 

Following last month’s landmark news that Vietnam will reopen to international tourism from 1st July, the country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has outlined how, when and where this revival will unfold.  According to Deputy Minister Trinh Thi Thuy, Phu Quoc will be the first destination to open its doors, followed shortly thereafter by other islands in the vicinity.  

The minister also warned against complacency, emphasising that Vietnam’s road to reopening must follow a cautious path. “Tougher measures should be taken to prevent another outbreak of COVID-19,” said Mr. Thuy in a recent statement. 

Following this advice, the Ministry of Tourism is working on a plan to open Vietnam in stages, considering which destinations are to be made available domestically and imposing controls on the numbers and nationalities of visitors making the trip. At present, Vietnam is favouring an approach that gives preference to countries where COVID-19 is currently under control. This would include Japan, South Korea and China, along with Australia and New Zealand. 

Last month, Vietnam announced it has already begun issuing e-visas to citizens of 80 countries worldwide. To read the news, click here

Phu Quoc is a popular tourist destination in Vietnam with an emergent international reputation. Since the construction of its international airport in 2012, the island has been steadily growing in popularity; last year alone, Phu Quoc welcomed over five million visitors.  

Vietnam has attracted international praise and recognition for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, there have been just over 300 confirmed cases of the virus in Vietnam, with zero deaths. These relatively low numbers have been attributed to the country’s swift and decisive response – isolating domestic outbreaks and the timely blocking of international arrivals.  

With COVID-19 now under control in Vietnam, stellar tourism destinations like Phu Quoc will be the first to welcome back international tourism. The latest plans for incremental reopening, combined with the nation’s impressive track record in dealing with coronavirus, bode well for a safe and controlled revival of tourism nationwide.