US band Maroon 5 concert causes Phu Quoc airfares to soar

By Tu Nguyen, Hoang Phong    November 7, 2023 | 02:00 am PT
US band Maroon 5 concert causes Phu Quoc airfares to soar
Wyndham Grand Phu Quoc Resort in the northern tip of Phu Quoc Island where pop-rock band Maroon 5's concert will take place on Dec. 16, 2023. Photo courtesy of the resort
Airfares from Hanoi and HCMC to Phu Quoc have doubled for Dec. 15 and 16, when U.S. pop-rock band Maroon 5 is scheduled to perform there.

Tickets from Hanoi to Phu Quoc on those days cost VND3.5-5.3 million (US$143-217).

On Vietnam Airlines' website, business class tickets cost VND13 million.

One-way tickets from HCMC cost up to VND1.9 million on Dec. 15, also double the normal fare.

However, some hotels in the north of the island, where the show will take place on the 16th, are offering discounts.

People with tickets for the concert get a 25% discount at hotels such as Vinpearl Phu Quoc, Wyndham Grand, Radisson Blu and Wyndham Garden between Dec. 14 and 19.

They will also get a 50% discount on tickets at VinWonders on Dec. 16.

Lan Anh, head of sales for a major hotel in the north, said the concert tickets are not cheap and so hotels do not want to put more financial pressure on fans.

The tickets cost VND1-10 million ($41-$407).

Concerts like Maroon 5's are an opportunity for Phu Quoc to promote itself to domestic and foreign tourists, she added.

Tourism businesses on the island hope the event would help boost Phu Quoc’s reputation as a tourist destination as popular music shows have done for Pattaya and Bangkok in Thailand.

But travel companies and hotel operators are worried the soaring airfares would act as a dampener.

Vu Tien Van, chairman of Adavigo, a travel agency specializing in the Phu Quoc market, said airlines should keep airfares moderate because the island depends heavily on flights and few visitors travel there by boat.

If the concert had been held in a city with convenient transportation like Hanoi, HCMC or Nha Trang, he would have confidently sold 1,000 ticket-hotel packages, but now has a modest target of 500 due to fears of skyrocketing airfares, he said.

Minh Anh, director of a travel company in Hanoi, said he did not dare sell tickets for the Maroon 5 show due to concerns about airfares.

Nguyen Vu Khac Huy, vice chairman of the Kien Giang Provincial Tourism Association, said it is a difficult time for tourism worldwide, not just Phu Quoc.

The concert is expected to provide an impetus to the island’s tourism industry, which has been hit hard recently, he said.

Maroon 5 was formed in 1994 when original members Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, Mickey Madden, and Ryan Dusick were in high school. Madden and Dusick were later replaced by James Valentine, Matt Flynn, PJ Morton, and Sam Farrar.

The group has won three Grammy awards in the U.S. and sold more than 135 million records, becoming one of the globe’s best-selling music artists.

Their "Move Like Jagger" was the second most downloaded song of all time as of January this year, following LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem."

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