Tuesday , May 28 2024

No boom for Phu Quoc tour guides this holiday

Tour guides on Phu Quoc Island were short on work this holiday due to higher airfares that have led to fewer visitors.

The Kien Giang Province Department of Tourism said the island welcomed only 180,000 visitors this holiday weekend, a 40% drop from 2022.

Vietnamese have a five-day holiday for the Hung King’s Death Commemoration Day on April 29, Reunification Day on April 30 and Labor Day on May 1 and two days’ compensation since the holidays fall on a weekend.

Restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions and tour guides were all affected by the dearth of travelers.

Truong Cong Tam, chairman of the Phu Quoc Professional Tour Guide Association, said only 75% of the association’s guides had tours booked this holiday. This came in stark contrast from last year, when tour guides in Phu Quoc were in high demand, he added.

During the 2022 holiday season, Phu Quoc had to call in a large number of tour guides from outside of the area as support, he said.

Even as chairman of the association, Tam guided tourists himself during last year’s holiday due to demand outweighing the supply of personnel.

“Even though I was last in line to guide tours last year, I still worked for the entire holiday,” he said.

But this year, he had almost no job to do as the number of tourists that tour agencies passed on to guides dropped by 50%.

Local tour guide Truong Phu Quoc said this year he did not feel the same “festive spirit” on Phu Quoc as he had in previous years.

He said he was used to having to clamor with other tour guides to find space for customers at restaurants. Bug this year he said he had enough time to himself to wind down and relax.

“I don’t mind the hard work. It’s better to see a festive Phu Quoc,” he said, adding that many of his fellow guides did not have jobs this weekend. Quoc said finding work this holiday required one to have close connections with many tour agencies

Ngo Hoang Nam, a freelance tour guide on the island, said many tourists canceled their tours this holiday because they had Covid-19.

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