Tourists shun Phu Quoc for exorbitant prices

By Le Pham   May 5, 2023 | 05:36 pm PT
Tourists shun Phu Quoc for exorbitant prices
Tourists shop for seafood in Phu Quoc, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Khuong Nha
Food and seafood are 2-3 times more expensive in Phu Quoc than other cities and tourist destinations, and the quality is not any better. So who would want to come to Phu Quoc?

Compared to the same period last year, Phu Quoc was no longer a "hot" tourist destination for 2023's five-day Reunification holiday. The number of visitors this year was only about 180,000, a 40% decrease from last year.

It was not uncommon to see tour guides sitting idle around the island through the long holiday.

While some have said that Phu Quoc is unattractive because of high airfares, many readers have pointed to the exorbitant prices for goods and services on the island.

"In Phu Quoc, there is too much overcharging, so tourists are afraid to come. Now people choose to go to places where they can actively use personal transportation to move around, instead of depending on flights to Phu Quoc, which has a round-trip fare equal to a trip to Thailand, so no one is interested. If tourism operators in Phu Quoc do not listen to customer opinions, they will continue to have no guests for a long time. When traveling abroad is cheaper than domestic travel, and it’s not subject to overcharging, domestic tourism will find it difficult to compete without significant change."
Nguoi noi thang

"For a tourist in Phu Quoc, it's quite expensive compared to Nha Trang. I lived in Nha Trang for over two months and Phu Quoc for three months, and I found that Nha Trang is much more comfortable. Besides, I can choose Quy Nhon as a pleasant beach alternative. Phu Quoc lacks everything, and they have to import basic goods from the mainland, even the vegetables and beans, while there is still plenty of land. When it comes to restaurants, they increase the price further. The result is that a noodle soup at a restaurant in Phu Quoc is more expensive than in downtown Ho Chi Minh City."
Chip Co Don

"Phu Quoc locals do business recklessly, hiking up prices to sky-high, from hotels to restaurants and night markets. It's hard to accept that seafood is more expensive on the beach than in Ho Chi Minh City."

"I don't think that the high airfare is necessarily the main reason for Phu Quoc's lack of visitors at this time. For example, people from the Mekong Delta don't need to fly to Phu Quoc, but the number of tourists from there is also declining. Simply because they've been there before, they know it, so they don't want to return. I think the price of services in Phu Quoc is the main problem. Tour services are also awfully expensive, and the price of goods is high in many places. Of course, spending a lot of money while traveling can be acceptable if the quality is commensurate. But the problem is the quality of the food stalls, even mini supermarkets, is still poor despite the sky-high prices."

"If Phu Quoc wants tourists to return in droves as before, they need to accomplish the following: round-trip airfare must be affordable, guesthouses and hotels must be reasonably priced, and seafood prices must be comparable to other coastal tourist areas in the country without overcharging. Currently, seafood prices in the coastal area are two to three times higher than in Ho Chi Minh City, so who would want to eat them? If they can lower prices, I am sure tourists will come back to enjoy, eat, and spend money in Phu Quoc."
Nguoi Dan

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