Phu Quoc forests, farm lands may have to give way for casino, resort

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 Foreign tourists on Phu Quoc Island. Photo: Giang Son
Authorities in the southern province of Kien Giang are seeking the government's permission to allocate more than 2,000 hectares of farm and forest land in Phu Quoc for tourism projects.
Officials have cited an increased interest from investors in the famous resort island, news website Saigon Times Online reported Thursday.
They plan to give away a large area of agriculture and forest land to these investors, it said.
Kien Giang's proposal came about two months after the government already allowed local authorities to increase its tourism land area by 3.6 percent to over 4,000 hectares (9,880 acres), it said.
Officials said among multibillion-dollar projects proposed by investors, there is a $4-billion casino, a $150-million zoo, and a resort complex estimated to cost over VND10 trillion ($449.3 million).
With an area of 56,700 hectares, Phu Quoc Island has gained popularity among tourists in recent years.
It attracted 110,000 tourists over the first seven months, up 20.5 percent year on year.

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