Phu Quoc tells tourists not to indulge beggars

By Hoang Vu    February 27, 2024 | 04:44 pm PT
Phu Quoc tells tourists not to indulge beggars
Visitors at Duong Dong night market in downtown Phu Quoc. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Tai
Phu Quoc authorities have asked tourists not to give money to beggars, many of whom are children, in an effort to eliminate panhandlers on the island and "boost its image."

Tourism management bodies are now also requiring people to queue in tidy, orderly lines while they wait to enjoy public attractions, according to Phu Quoc's news portal.

In addition, visitors are asked to dress politely while visiting pilgrimage sites and historical relics, and authorities have requested that tourists limit their consumption of alcohol.

The southern island of Phu Quoc has been trying to restore its tourism reputation following last year’s crisis, in which price gouging and tourist scams became major issues. The crisis prompted a drop in the number of visitor arrivals.

The island welcomed an estimated 52,000 international visitors during this year’s seven-day Tet break, from Feb. 8-14, an increase of nearly six times over last year’s holiday.

Panhandling is illegal under Vietnamese law. But panhandlers gathering in front of tourist attractions and pilgrimage sites to ask for money from tourists is not an uncommon occurrence.

Local authorities at many tourist destinations across Vietnam, including Da Nang and Nha Trang, have also pledged to crack down on street panhandling to protect the localities' tourism images.

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