Brand hotels can help revitalise Phu Quoc tourism

November 06, 2023 | 14:47
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From once being an obscure island, Phu Quoc rose rapidly on the world tourist map, but now a rejuvenation is required. Ben Schumacher, vice president of operations for Southeast Asia Pacific Rim at Wyndham Hotels told VIR’s Nhat Ha about how the openings of their hotels seek to revitalise Phu Quoc and enhance its appeal as a top tourist destination.

Why did Wyndham decide to set up its largest Grand hotel in Phu Quoc compared to other destinations in Asia-Pacific?

Brand hotels can help revitalise Phu Quoc tourism
Ben Schumacher

Phu Quoc has garnered attention from the travel community worldwide and steadily surpassed other well-known destinations to become one of the world’s best places to visit.

Last year, it welcomed nearly 5.1 million visitors, an increase of 134 per cent from 2021. Between 2016 and 2019, Phu Quoc received nearly five million tourists.

Even in 2020, despite domestic and international tourism slumping, the number of visitors topped 3.5 million, surpassing Asian destinations such as Phuket and the Maldives.

Phu Quoc’s tourism infrastructure has been significantly upgraded over the years, and resorts and entertainment complexes have contributed to Phu Quoc’s position on the international tourism map. With the opening of Wyndham Grand Phu Quoc and Wyndham Garden Phu Quoc, we look forward to welcoming more visitors to this stunning island.

How has visitor interest been since the unveiling in September of both Wyndham Grand and Garden?

Visitor numbers have been on the rise, and we warmly welcome the introduction of the e-visa for greater growth.

Aligned with the rising demand for upscale hotel accommodation, we have been seeing great interest in Wyndham Grand, as well as Wyndham Garden. With the increasing demand for tourism in 2024 and beyond, we also look forward to more international flights into such emerging destinations in Vietnam as well.

We are looking forward to strengthening the attractiveness of Phu Quoc through partnerships such as Phu Quoc Tourism Development Investment JSC and New Vision Land Company.

Through our owner first mentality, we constantly collaborate with owners to achieve a win-win outcome, priding ourselves on having a brand for every occasion. This enables existing and potential business partners to identify a brand suitable for their market and target guest profile – as we make hotel travel possible for all.

With wealth growing at an unprecedented rate within Asia-Pacific, the region’s luxury hotel market size is projected to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 8 per cent from now to 2028, according to Mordor Intelligence.

What are some of the sustainability efforts Wyndham is undertaking in Phu Quoc?

Travellers, leisure and corporate alike, have become more conscious about the environmental impact of tourism and are looking for ways to travel more responsibly.

As such, sustainable tourism can be a potential proof point for the hospitality and travel industries to push out, aligned with organisations’ increasing focus on sustainability. This commitment to sustainable practices is one of the many ways we are ensuring our core values align with those of our guests.

Through the Wyndham Green programme, hotels can improve their energy efficiency, increase their water conservation, reduce waste, and boost green purchasing efforts.

By 2025, we are committed to reduce absolute carbon emissions in scope 1 and 2 emissions by 15 per cent compared to the 2019 baseline, and achieving 100 per cent renewable energy at corporate headquarters and in our North American offices.

As of July 2023, 330 of our hotels in Asia-Pacific are certified with Wyndham Green, and we are excited to be supporting more properties in completing the certification programme, as part of our continuous effort to drive sustainable progress across our portfolio.

When we talk about sustainability, it is no longer about what the hotels can stand to gain, especially as more travellers become eco-conscious. It now becomes about what hotels will lose out on, if they do not take the step towards being sustainable.

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Korean Air will start direct flights connecting Seoul to Phu Quoc resort island in southern Vietnam, also known as the Pearl Island, from the end of November 2023 to meet the increasing travel demand of Korean tourists to Vietnam's largest island.

South Korean airlines lay on more direct flights to Phu Quoc South Korean airlines lay on more direct flights to Phu Quoc

Following Korean Air's lead, two other South Korean airlines, Jeju Air and Jin Air, are set to launch direct flights from Seoul to Phu Quoc. This decision comes in response to the growing allure of Vietnam's largest island among South Korean tourists.

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By Nhat Ha

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