Vietnam resort island to cut prices thanks to cheaper power

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Foreign tourists at Phu Quoc Island / FILE PHOTO

Tourism authorities and businesses on Phu Quoc, a resort island off the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, are planning to reduce the cost of services as the island finally has access to cheaper electricity.

Le Minh Hoang, director of Kien Giang’s Department Culture, Sports and Tourism, told Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon (Saigon Times) Online on Monday that his agency will meet with tourism businesses to decrease the fees of accommodation and other services this first quarter.

The new prices will be applied in the second quarter, he said, without revealing how big the reductions will be.

Many travel companies said room rates on the island are currently some 30 percent higher than those of other destinations.

According to Hoang, tourism services on Phu Quoc are expensive because businesses have had to pay more for electricity and water.

Before being connected to the national electricity grid on February 2, the island relied on its sole thermal electric power plant, and regularly faced severe shortages of power.

Since electricity prices are cheaper now, service prices will have to be adjusted to attract tourists, the official said.

He also said that with the latest improvement in power, work is being started on several big tourism projects at the island.

In an interview with the newspaper last year, Hoang said that due to the lack of infrastructure and the current economic situation, only 23 out of 170 new tourism and hotel projects got underway

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Most of the launched projects were small and medium-sized hotels with less than 160 rooms, while new hotels of 1,000 rooms have been delayed until 2015, he said.

He expected that Phu Quoc will continue facing a shortage of hotels over the next few years.

The island received more than 548,000 tourists in the first ten months of last year, up 27.8 percent year on year, according to the Kien Giang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism website.

Around 16.3 percent of the tourists were foreigners.

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