Phu Quoc Island considers visa exemption for 6 months to attract foreign tourists

Long Beach, Phu Quoc Island

Authorities in the southern province of Kien Giang, home to Phu Quoc, have proposed extending visa-free stay on the island from the current 30 days to six months.

Director of the provincial Department of Tourism Bui Quoc Thai said the proposal would apply to foreigners directly entering Phu Quoc coastal economic zone or Phu Quoc from other international border gates within the territory of Vietnam, Kien Giang Newspaper reported.

Phu Quoc is currently the only Vietnamese locality to offer a 30-day visa-free entry for foreigners.

The policy of long visa-free stays for international visitors has already helped boost the island’s tourism growth, Thai added.

The island received nearly 700,000 foreigners in 2019, up 23% year-on-year.

However, the number of foreign tourists visiting Phu Quoc has been falling sharply in recent months, forcing some airlines to cancel flights to the island.

In April foreign visitor numbers plummeted by over 27% from the previous month to 47,725, according to the department.

Tourism officials blamed this on the global economic situation and inflation.

Well known for its long, sandy beaches with turquoise waters and dense forests, Phu Quoc is a popular holiday destination for both Vietnamese and foreign tourists.

It is also home to a marine sanctuary and a national park popular with trekkers.