- Vietnam is promoting the island as a place for tourists to tie the knot, capitalising on the nuptials of Kaabia Grewal and Rushang Shah to boost its Covid-hit economy
- But it’s not just the rich who would appreciate its charms. Fans say it offers value for money, English language services and a ‘second-home’ feel for Indians
Patil, who has lived in Vietnam for 10 years, tied the knot with his Vietnamese partner at a resort in the central coastal town of Quy Nhon in late 2019.
“Cost-wise it is much cheaper than India for [a similar] kind of resort or hotel. Resorts in Vietnam are true value for money in terms of services provided for guests,” said Patil, originally from Madhya Pradesh in central India.
“In Phu Quoc [and similar places] all staff speak English and hence communication is not an issue.”
Patil, who works for a food and agri-business company, said one downside was having to be more selective with the guest list, because Indian weddings were generally larger and had more guests than their Vietnamese counterparts.
Forget Phuket, here’s Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s big tourism hope
25 Apr 2021
His wedding in Vietnam had about 300 guests and cost about US$60,000. A similar ceremony in India would have had twice as many guests and cost twice as much, he estimated.
Last month, officials and tourism figures from both Vietnam and India held a virtual conference to promote Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island, and Kerala, a southwestern India coastal state, as wedding destination.
Phu Quoc, the name of which literally means “fertile country”, is a mainstay in Vietnam’s efforts to revive its tourismindustry, which accounted for around 10 per cent of the country’s GDP before the coronavirus pandemic, according to official figures.
In 2021, the country recorded its lowest GDP growth in 36 years, at 2.58 per cent, alongside record unemployment – a significant blow for one of the only two Asian economies to have grown in 2020.
South Korean tourists receive flower garlands at Phu Quoc international airport in November 2021, as the island welcomed its first international tourists following Covid-related border closures. Photo: AFP
Last November, the island - home to picturesque beaches, coral reefs and waterfalls - welcomed more than 200 Koreans who were among the first foreign tourists to visit Vietnam since the beginning of its pandemic-induced border closure that lasted for nearly two years. After opening for over a month, the island has welcomed over 1,000 foreign tourists from countries including Thailand, Laos, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, going by official data. It is a modest intake compared to 2019, when there were 5.3 million visitors, most of whom were Vietnamese.
Vietnam is promoting the idyllic island of Phu Quoc as a place for tourists to tie the knot as it hopes to give its Covid-hit economy a boost.