As Vietnam looks to capitalise on the rising visibility of its beaches in recent years, efforts to market the southern island of Phu Quoc have been met with limited success in Singapore, according to agent feedback at a Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) roadshow last week.
When Vietnam Airlines launched flights between Singapore and Phu Quoc in July 2014, Gloree Travels' sales and marketing director Serene Lim was among the group of Singaporean agents who enjoyed the short-lived service before it was terminated in October 2015.
While agent feedback on the destination was positive, Lim said the Phu Quoc service was “not quite in demand” as its twice-weekly frequency afforded few options for travel dates and duration.
Today, she observes that the destination continues to appeal more to European travellers. “Many Singaporeans still like shopping and affordability, and Ho Chi Minh City offers more options for that,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Le Thu Ha, representative of the travel industry management department of VNAT, highlighted to Singaporean agents at the roadshow that the country boasts “over 100 beach locales such as those in Danang, Nha Trang, Mui Ne and Phu Quoc”.
She added: “There are further plans for flights from Singapore to (beach destinations) such as Danang and Phu Quoc island.”
Of the beach destinations highlighted, only Danang currently enjoys direct connections from Singapore, whereas transits are required to get to Cam Ranh International Airport (closest to gateway to Nha Trang) and Phu Quoc International Airport.