Phu Quoc receives first charter flight from Stockholm, eyes tourist boom

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North European tourists collect their luggage after a flight from Stockholm to Phu Quoc on March 8, 2016. Photo credit: N.Trieu/Tuoi Tre North European tourists collect their luggage after a flight from Stockholm to Phu Quoc on March 8, 2016. Photo credit: N.Trieu/Tuoi Tre

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Phu Quoc Airport on Vietnam’s popular tourist island welcomed 299 visitors from Sweden on Tuesday as it launched a new charter service connecting to Stockholm.
An airport representative said the flight was the first of three planned for this month.
The visitors will be staying at four and five-star resorts on the island for two weeks for winter break.
The flight schedule for the coming months is not revealed.
But Tuoi Tre newspaper cited an executive of TUIFly Nordic, which operates the flights, as saying that the frequency will be increased to once a week between December and April next year.
Phu Quoc is nearly 600 square kilometers -- equal to the size of Singapore -- with a population of 103,000. The government waives visas for foreigners visiting the island for up to 30 days.
The country’s biggest island is now connected to Singapore, Siem Riep, Guangxi and major Vietnamese cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. A Moscow direct service was opened in February 2014 but suspended last year due to the drop in tourists.
Phu Quoc attracts visitors thanks to its beautiful, warm beaches and fresh seafood. Official data showed that 750,000 tourists visited the island in 2015, 30 percent of them foreigners.
Investments worth VND160 trillion (US$7.17 billion) have been poured into the island's tourism industry so far, including a casino and a cable cars project. A 500-hectare safari was opened last December.
Hotels are being built to prepare for up to three million visitors a year by 2020, according to local officials.
Part of Ganh Dau Beach in Phu Quoc District, Kien Giang Province. The beach is around 20 kilometers from Duong Dong Town. Photo credit: VietNamNet

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