Phu Quoc to crack down on price gouging amid tourism crisis

By Tu Nguyen   November 15, 2023 | 06:12 pm PT
Phu Quoc to crack down on price gouging amid tourism crisis
A boat carries tourists from a cruise ship to Phu Quoc Island, May 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Duong Dong
Phu Quoc authorities have pledged to improve the quality of tourism services on the island and prevent price gouging as they seek to reverse the recent slump in tourism.

They said they would establish an inspection team with officials from various agencies to check the quality and prices of tourism services during the peak holiday season comprising Christmas, New Year and Lunar New Year.

They will also keep an eye on tour guides and taxis, canoes, tourist boats and other means of transport for quality and fares.

Authorities plan to promote the island’s tourism, especially in key markets such as South Korea and Thailand.

The moves follow reports that tourists were making a hasty exit from Phu Quoc due to exorbitant prices.

The number of visitors has fallen sharply from last year.

During the five-day Reunification Day holidays (April 30 - May 5) Phu Quoc received 112,000 visitors, down 11.5% from the same period last year.

During the four-day National Day (Sept. 2) holidays, the number of visitors fell by 40% to a meager 19,000 and room occupancy was an embarrassing 27%.

The island is seeing some signs of recovery for the peak year-end tourism season with foreign tourists flocking there in recent weeks.

Several South Korean airlines have announced plans to start direct services to the island this year.

Jeju Air will launch a daily Seoul service this month, and Korean Air and Jin Air in late November and December.

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