Phu Quoc Island responds to growing visitor numbers

Monday, Aug 10, 2015 18:35

A corner of Phu Quoc Island in the southern province of Kien Giang. — Photo

HA NOI (Biz Hub) – The Airport Corporation of Viet Nam (ACV) is planning to expand Phu Quoc International Airport's passenger terminal in southern Kien Giang Province next year, with investment capital of VND1 trillion (US$46.15 million).

The expansion is expected to increase the terminal's capacity from handling 2.65 million passengers per year to 4 million passengers. Four passenger boarding bridges, eight domestic and international boarding gates and some baggage carousels will be added to the terminal.

The upgrade is aimed at meeting the growth in passenger numbers, which is generally between 28 per cent and 46 per cent, annually.

According to General Director of the ACV Le Manh Hung, the current terminal was put into operation in 2012 and is estimated to reach its full designed capacity by 2020. However, with the current annual growth rate, the terminal will be at full capacity by 2017, three years earlier than planned.

"The rapid increase in passenger demand is putting pressure on the management of the terminal. Therefore, the expansion is essential to meet the increasing demand over the next few years," Hung said.

As planned, the ACV will submit its design and investment details for the project to the authorities for approval in September this year. Construction is expected to begin in March 2016 and be completed by April 2017.

Earlier, Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang had proposed the implementation of a pilot plan to transfer the operating rights of Phu Quoc Airport, for which ACV was the sole investor.

Two investors have applied to the Transport Ministry requesting the operating rights of the airport. They are Chairman of T&T Group Do Quang Hien and Chairman of Imex Pan Pacific Corporation, overseas Vietnamese, Jonathan Hanh Nguyen.

The airport received nearly 800,000 passengers in 2014, an increase of 100,000 passengers compared with 2013. Of this number, the volume of foreigners reached about 30 per cent.

Investment boost

The Phu Quoc Island District has been undergoing a remarkable change for a few years now with many investment projects of international, regional and national repute.

The island has attracted 196 investment projects in the first seven months of this year, with total registered capital of more than VND144 trillion ($6.64 billion). Most of the projects will serve the island's tourism sector.

According to Deputy Chairman of the district's People's Committee, Huynh Quang Hung, 136 projects were carried out in the island. Of these, Vingroup, Sun Group and a number of other big investors had been constructing chains of five-six star level resorts, restaurants, hotels and entertainment areas to serve the visitors.

With investment made by property developer Vingroup, Vinpearl Phu Quoc in Ganh Dau Commune is the biggest player in the island. The site is being built on more than 300 ha with a total investment capital of more than $1 billion.

At the same time, Vingroup has been carrying out a 500ha zoological park in Ganh Dau and Cua Can communes. It is said that the park will be the world's second largest one, gathering various wild animals and flora specially sourced from all continents in the world as well as areas in Viet Nam. The park is expected to boost tourism in the island and make it competitive with other destinations in Viet Nam and other areas in the region such as Phuket in Thailand and Bali in Indonesia.

Sun Group has been building a resort in the island's southern area. The five-six star level resort, with more than 1,000 luxury rooms, is scheduled to open its doors on April 30, 2016.

The group was recently allowed to invest in building a cable-car system from An Thoi Township to Hon Thom Commune and an entertainment and resort in the commune. The project is estimated at VND10 trillion ($461.46 million) and predicted to be operational by 2017.

Together with tourism projects, the VND1.6 trillion ($73.8 million) Phu Quoc International Passenger Port, which is planned to be operational by 2017, is expected to lure a high volume of international passenger ships in the future.

Deputy Chairman Hung said investment in the island was so favourable because the investors had been benefiting from the special preferential policies made applicable by the government for Phu Quoc, such as exemption from enterprise income tax, personal income tax and others.

The island has a temperate climate and a friendly-eco environment. Its traffic system is modern with international airport and international hospital. There are many infrastructure projects being carried out in the island, creating conditions necessary and favourable for investors to develop their business here. — VNS

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