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Vietnam’s Venice: How A Sleepy Island In Vietnam Could Challenge Pattaya & Bali As A Key Tourist Attraction

A Vietnamese corporate group is turning a sleepy Island into a modern-day Venice. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, the island could be a major tourist destination in Southeast Asia akin to Bali in Indonesia and Pattaya, Phuket in Thailand

Le Khac Hiep, the vice-chairman of Vingroup, announced these plans at the opening ceremony of the entertainment complex Grand World Phu Quoc in April this year.

Phu Quoc Island is poised to become Southeast Asia’s most favored tourist destination, which could even outperform global tourist hotspots such as Indonesia’s Bali, South Korea’s Jeju, and Thailand’s Phuket in the long run.

For those who are not familiar, Grand World Phu Quoc offers 24X7 easy access to its inbuilt recreational facilities – a theme park, restaurants, boutiques, shophouses, Vinpearl Safari, the 18-hole Vinpearl Golf Course, casino, Vinmec hospital, and water show.

All operate non-stop 24×7 round-the-year to create a bustling atmosphere and the sense of an endless and dynamic festival space akin to other famous “sleepless cities”, Vingroup said.

File:Sunset Over Pecatu.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
File Image: Sunset Over Pecatu – Wikimedia Commons

Globetrotters, families on a holiday, and researchers can encash them anytime at the “compact and self-contained” resort.

Modern-Day ‘Venice’

Restaurants, boutiques, and shops are located on each side of a canal that passes through the theme park, offering a sense of modern-day Venice.

In addition, the Grand World entertainment complex houses a Teddy Bear Museum, ‘Bamboo Legend’, the largest bamboo construction; ‘The Elite of Vietnam’, a 3D multimedia show with built-in state-of-the-art technology and visual effects, and the likes.

More enthralling would be to witness a year-round program of festivals such as the Nghinh Ong Festival, Nguyen Trung Truc Festival, and the Boat Racing Festival. With everything combined, the Pho Quoc complex is geared up to become a major tourist hotspot in Southeast Asia.

So far, Phu Quoc has attracted investments from Vingroup worth $2.8 billion, according to Nikkei Asia. In addition, Vietnamese real estate company Sun Group is reported to have completed the world’s longest over-the-sea aerial tramway, theme park, and other facilities.

The Grand World Phu Quoc built by Vingroup.

All these are part of 372 projects worth $16 billion, which have come up on the island.

Vietnamese singer Dang Khoi apparently has a stake in the Grand World complex as an owner of the shophouse. He said, “I believe this ‘sleepless city’ will spur Vietnam’s tourism in the coming time.”

The entertainment complex is a “comprehensive ecosystem and a tourist destination that is able to meet all visitors’ needs”, Tuoi Tre News quoted Hiep as saying. In years to come, the island city aims to focus on building socio-economic infrastructure, particularly in transport, power, water, waste treatment, and so on.

Despite Covid-induced difficulties, the island city hopes to welcome three million domestic travelers, Nikkei Asia reported. The year 2019 saw a 27% increase in tourist footfall in the city before the pandemic broke out.

Written by Kanika Sachdeva

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