Phu Quoc is looking to bounce back after a tough year. Minh Ngo, general manager at Wyndham Grand Phu Quoc, shares with VIR’s Thai An the hotel’s experiences in promoting Vietnam and Phu Quoc’s tourism and hospitality abroad, and the expectation for the island’s tourism landscape in 2024.
How did 2023 pan out for you, and what do you expect for next year?
|Minh Ngo, general manager at Wyndham Grand Phu Quoc
Next year is expected to be a prosperous one for the hotel and tourism economy, with many more charter flights connecting Phu Quoc to potential international markets. But visitor traffic to the island this year was still lower than our expectations and far from the peak of 2019.
Currently, there is still only a few direct flights to the island, and the number of flights connecting Phu Quoc these days is only one-fifth in comparison to five years ago.
The choice and price competition cause the most problems at the moment. Multi-transit requirements also make travellers consider longer in choosing Phu Quoc for their next destination. In addition, the travel costs and high price of air tickets also reduce the attraction of the island, impacting bookings and private spending sharply in the upcoming holiday season.
Wyndham Grand Phu Quoc joined the MarketHub conference in Bangkok in November. What benefits can such events bring to promoting Vietnam’s hotel and tourism industry?
Wyndham Grand Phu Quoc is proud to be the only Vietnamese representative joining the Hotelbeds event in Bangkok. It is one of the largest platform channels in the travel industry, trusted and known by travellers worldwide. With Hotelbeds’ positive development for both direct connectivity channel and retails distribution, they have brought up new messages and important information, such as the growing trends in the hospitality industry.
Participating in this event was a great opportunity for Wyndham Grand Phu Quoc to bring its image and brand closer to international customers around the world. It was a great opportunity for us to meet and share with hundreds of agents in worldwide the natural beauties and professional services of Vietnam, Phu Quoc, and our Wyndham brand hotels.
Through the event, we can set up connection to lead to long-term cooperation between our resort and international sales channels in the coming times.
What bold lessons have you gained for Vietnam to upgrade services to adapt effectively to the requirements of international travellers?
We realise that international businesses are very active and dynamic in adapting the travellers’ requirements and demands, while their government support them strictly by offering favourable incentives and hosting various promotion campaigns inside and outside their countries.
Thailand is a typical example of quickly catching up the return waves of travellers from potential markets like Russia, China, and India. They opened the door, and ran promotion campaigns widely and earlier than Phu Quoc and Vietnam for more than a year. Thailand also extended its supported flights to pull in international tourists to ensure and balance the travel spendings after suffered heavily in the pandemic.
From such lessons, we realise that Phu Quoc really needs the support and close corporation between airlines, agencies, and hotels to work together to attract international travellers in 2024 and to adapt to their requirements and needs, just like how it was achieved in 2019.
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