Investment & development
When you go to Phu Quoc at present, you go there on planes that have propellers. That will likely change after the year 2012, as the expansion of the island’s airport begins to allow larger craft to land. Around the same time, foreigners flying straight into Phu Quoc from overseas countries will be allowed to bypass Vietnam’s normal border controls, and get a visa stamped in their passports on arrival. It is all part of the plan to turn Phu Quoc into a special tourism zone.
Back in 2006 an American group, Rockingham, announced a US$1 billion dollar development plan for Phu Quoc which would have included a car racing track. Other developers have proposed high-rise buildings on Long Beach, multiple golf courses, kite-flying areas and even a casino. The scramble to develop Phu Quoc is in earnest, and plenty of high rolling investors have come to the party. If Vietnam’s government has its way, Phu Quoc airport will become only the fourth international airport in the country. By 2030 it should be able to serve 7 million passengers per year. The Phu Quoc that those 7 million passengers visit then will be totally different from the Phu Quoc we know now, if all these rosy schemes go to plan. But will they go to plan?