Connect with us

Property

Which island will be the next Phuket?

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: These days, I seemingly spend far too much time flying around Asia, and one of my hash tags at industry events seems to be #The Phuket Guy. There are far worse things to be called in life, and I’m without a doubt getting off easy. Send in the flip-flops, things might be turning nasty after the sundowners.

Aside from all the campy small talk about living on an island in Thailand, which remains an object of desire for many, often the conversation turns to where the next Phuket will be, or in boom-time talk, the next big Asian resort destination? My mind tends to wander whenever this subject comes around, with glassed-over eyes and silence bringing up the rear.

Where next? Some of the best-known names have to be taken off the table – Bali, Koh Samui, and Boracay, all are famous already. What I need is the almost famous, which may be able to jump the queue like an overanxious speed freak with attention deficit disorder.

Shuffling though the deck of cards, names such as Lombok, Palawan, the southern coast of Sri Lanka and Langkawi flip up. Digging deeper, the name Phu Quoc in Vietnam springs up. About an hour’s flight south of Ho Chi Minh City, this idyllic island has flirted with broader success for the past few years, but still remains relatively quiet.

Unlike Danang in the middle of the country with it’s famed China Beach facing the volatile South China Sea, Phu Quoc shares more in common with the islands off Cambodia and the Gulf of Thailand. I never quite understood how Danang and Lang Co were able to garner such a large resort development footprint, given the overall lack of tropical sunny days and mismatched winter weather where gray skies and cold greet the European snowbirds.

Phuket has enjoyed decades of core seasonal tourism from the likes of Scandinavians, Europeans, and most recently the Russians, who have been fleeing their iceberg winter wonderlands. Fun in the sun packs charter planes, even if retail therapy has replaced tanning as a core activity.

Airlift in my opinion remains the great leveller for tourism and the fairly new Phu Quoc airport is a game changer. This past winter saw charter flights from Eastern Europe come into play. Vietnam, like Thailand, and unlike Indonesia, allows Russians visa-free travel, which is a key demand driver as the numbers bear out.

While Danang, Nha Tran and Phan Thiet had previously been seeing the emerging markets rise, the new airlift to Phu Quoc has changed the scene. Surprisingly, there are only two internationally affiliated resorts, with La Veranda coming under ACCOR’s MGallery umbrella and a pool villa resort managed by the Centara boutique collection.

There are bigger things in store for an island with fewer then 200 keys at the upscale level. The Vinpearl group, who have two other mega-resorts in Danang and Nha Trang, will open a luxury 500-plus room property before year-end. With Miss Vietnam set to be held in Phu Quoc in November, the rush is on to complete the project. Later plans call for more hotel units, residential and retail facilities.

Also in the pipeline is a Crowne Plaza by the InterContinental Hotels Group, and another ACCOR resort by Mercure. Speculation is strong about a new mixed-use project by the Sun Group on the lovely southeastern side of the island, which is one of the most dynamic beach fronts.

From 200 rooms to over 1,000 in a fairly short span will mean the island must look to China and Russia to fill rooms, just as Phuket has so ably done over the past few years. When quick fixes are required, look to the skies for charter planes to be a familiar sight.

As is the case across Asia, developers of hotel assets are also tuning into real estate offerings and Phu Quoc will likely see a flurry of new offerings in the next 12-24 months with brands and independents alike. There is talk on the ground about the island becoming a Special Economic Zone and the possibility of foreigners being allowed to own freehold property. We hear this a lot throughout the region, in every nook and cranny, so best to wait and see on this one.

On a whole, Vietnam has yet to live up to its tourism promise over the past two decades and the visa issue for most nationalities remains a deterrent. Yet, if you were a betting person, Phu Quoc has strong destination DNA – favorable weather for the European traveller, a good capacity airport, lovely beaches and the start of some impressive hotel offerings.

At the end of the day, there is no place exactly like Phuket, but on the other hand, there is life outside the island as well, with untapped potential in many cases to evolve into their own unique paradise success stories.

Bill Barnett is Managing Director of C9Hotelworks. He can be contacted through: c9hotelworks.com.

— Bill Barnett

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Looking for your next home in Thailand? Let us match you with a local expert in minutes!

Thank you for your interest!

One of our agents will
reach out to you soon.

I want to:
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • United States+1
  • United Kingdom+44
  • Australia+61
  • Afghanistan (‫افغانستان‬‎)+93
  • Albania (Shqipëri)+355
  • Algeria (‫الجزائر‬‎)+213
  • American Samoa+1684
  • Andorra+376
  • Angola+244
  • Anguilla+1264
  • Antigua and Barbuda+1268
  • Argentina+54
  • Armenia (Հայաստան)+374
  • Aruba+297
  • Australia+61
  • Austria (Österreich)+43
  • Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan)+994
  • Bahamas+1242
  • Bahrain (‫البحرين‬‎)+973
  • Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)+880
  • Barbados+1246
  • Belarus (Беларусь)+375
  • Belgium (België)+32
  • Belize+501
  • Benin (Bénin)+229
  • Bermuda+1441
  • Bhutan (འབྲུག)+975
  • Bolivia+591
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (Босна и Херцеговина)+387
  • Botswana+267
  • Brazil (Brasil)+55
  • British Indian Ocean Territory+246
  • British Virgin Islands+1284
  • Brunei+673
  • Bulgaria (България)+359
  • Burkina Faso+226
  • Burundi (Uburundi)+257
  • Cambodia (កម្ពុជា)+855
  • Cameroon (Cameroun)+237
  • Canada+1
  • Cape Verde (Kabu Verdi)+238
  • Caribbean Netherlands+599
  • Cayman Islands+1345
  • Central African Republic (République centrafricaine)+236
  • Chad (Tchad)+235
  • Chile+56
  • China (中国)+86
  • Christmas Island+61
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands+61
  • Colombia+57
  • Comoros (‫جزر القمر‬‎)+269
  • Congo (DRC) (Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo)+243
  • Congo (Republic) (Congo-Brazzaville)+242
  • Cook Islands+682
  • Costa Rica+506
  • Côte d’Ivoire+225
  • Croatia (Hrvatska)+385
  • Cuba+53
  • Curaçao+599
  • Cyprus (Κύπρος)+357
  • Czech Republic (Česká republika)+420
  • Denmark (Danmark)+45
  • Djibouti+253
  • Dominica+1767
  • Dominican Republic (República Dominicana)+1
  • Ecuador+593
  • Egypt (‫مصر‬‎)+20
  • El Salvador+503
  • Equatorial Guinea (Guinea Ecuatorial)+240
  • Eritrea+291
  • Estonia (Eesti)+372
  • Ethiopia+251
  • Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)+500
  • Faroe Islands (Føroyar)+298
  • Fiji+679
  • Finland (Suomi)+358
  • France+33
  • French Guiana (Guyane française)+594
  • French Polynesia (Polynésie française)+689
  • Gabon+241
  • Gambia+220
  • Georgia (საქართველო)+995
  • Germany (Deutschland)+49
  • Ghana (Gaana)+233
  • Gibraltar+350
  • Greece (Ελλάδα)+30
  • Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat)+299
  • Grenada+1473
  • Guadeloupe+590
  • Guam+1671
  • Guatemala+502
  • Guernsey+44
  • Guinea (Guinée)+224
  • Guinea-Bissau (Guiné Bissau)+245
  • Guyana+592
  • Haiti+509
  • Honduras+504
  • Hong Kong (香港)+852
  • Hungary (Magyarország)+36
  • Iceland (Ísland)+354
  • India (भारत)+91
  • Indonesia+62
  • Iran (‫ایران‬‎)+98
  • Iraq (‫العراق‬‎)+964
  • Ireland+353
  • Isle of Man+44
  • Israel (‫ישראל‬‎)+972
  • Italy (Italia)+39
  • Jamaica+1
  • Japan (日本)+81
  • Jersey+44
  • Jordan (‫الأردن‬‎)+962
  • Kazakhstan (Казахстан)+7
  • Kenya+254
  • Kiribati+686
  • Kosovo+383
  • Kuwait (‫الكويت‬‎)+965
  • Kyrgyzstan (Кыргызстан)+996
  • Laos (ລາວ)+856
  • Latvia (Latvija)+371
  • Lebanon (‫لبنان‬‎)+961
  • Lesotho+266
  • Liberia+231
  • Libya (‫ليبيا‬‎)+218
  • Liechtenstein+423
  • Lithuania (Lietuva)+370
  • Luxembourg+352
  • Macau (澳門)+853
  • Macedonia (FYROM) (Македонија)+389
  • Madagascar (Madagasikara)+261
  • Malawi+265
  • Malaysia+60
  • Maldives+960
  • Mali+223
  • Malta+356
  • Marshall Islands+692
  • Martinique+596
  • Mauritania (‫موريتانيا‬‎)+222
  • Mauritius (Moris)+230
  • Mayotte+262
  • Mexico (México)+52
  • Micronesia+691
  • Moldova (Republica Moldova)+373
  • Monaco+377
  • Mongolia (Монгол)+976
  • Montenegro (Crna Gora)+382
  • Montserrat+1664
  • Morocco (‫المغرب‬‎)+212
  • Mozambique (Moçambique)+258
  • Myanmar (Burma) (မြန်မာ)+95
  • Namibia (Namibië)+264
  • Nauru+674
  • Nepal (नेपाल)+977
  • Netherlands (Nederland)+31
  • New Caledonia (Nouvelle-Calédonie)+687
  • New Zealand+64
  • Nicaragua+505
  • Niger (Nijar)+227
  • Nigeria+234
  • Niue+683
  • Norfolk Island+672
  • North Korea (조선 민주주의 인민 공화국)+850
  • Northern Mariana Islands+1670
  • Norway (Norge)+47
  • Oman (‫عُمان‬‎)+968
  • Pakistan (‫پاکستان‬‎)+92
  • Palau+680
  • Palestine (‫فلسطين‬‎)+970
  • Panama (Panamá)+507
  • Papua New Guinea+675
  • Paraguay+595
  • Peru (Perú)+51
  • Philippines+63
  • Poland (Polska)+48
  • Portugal+351
  • Puerto Rico+1
  • Qatar (‫قطر‬‎)+974
  • Réunion (La Réunion)+262
  • Romania (România)+40
  • Russia (Россия)+7
  • Rwanda+250
  • Saint Barthélemy+590
  • Saint Helena+290
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis+1869
  • Saint Lucia+1758
  • Saint Martin (Saint-Martin (partie française))+590
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon (Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon)+508
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1784
  • Samoa+685
  • San Marino+378
  • São Tomé and Príncipe (São Tomé e Príncipe)+239
  • Saudi Arabia (‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬‎)+966
  • Senegal (Sénégal)+221
  • Serbia (Србија)+381
  • Seychelles+248
  • Sierra Leone+232
  • Singapore+65
  • Sint Maarten+1721
  • Slovakia (Slovensko)+421
  • Slovenia (Slovenija)+386
  • Solomon Islands+677
  • Somalia (Soomaaliya)+252
  • South Africa+27
  • South Korea (대한민국)+82
  • South Sudan (‫جنوب السودان‬‎)+211
  • Spain (España)+34
  • Sri Lanka (ශ්‍රී ලංකාව)+94
  • Sudan (‫السودان‬‎)+249
  • Suriname+597
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen+47
  • Swaziland+268
  • Sweden (Sverige)+46
  • Switzerland (Schweiz)+41
  • Syria (‫سوريا‬‎)+963
  • Taiwan (台灣)+886
  • Tajikistan+992
  • Tanzania+255
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • Timor-Leste+670
  • Togo+228
  • Tokelau+690
  • Tonga+676
  • Trinidad and Tobago+1868
  • Tunisia (‫تونس‬‎)+216
  • Turkey (Türkiye)+90
  • Turkmenistan+993
  • Turks and Caicos Islands+1649
  • Tuvalu+688
  • U.S. Virgin Islands+1340
  • Uganda+256
  • Ukraine (Україна)+380
  • United Arab Emirates (‫الإمارات العربية المتحدة‬‎)+971
  • United Kingdom+44
  • United States+1
  • Uruguay+598
  • Uzbekistan (Oʻzbekiston)+998
  • Vanuatu+678
  • Vatican City (Città del Vaticano)+39
  • Venezuela+58
  • Vietnam (Việt Nam)+84
  • Wallis and Futuna (Wallis-et-Futuna)+681
  • Western Sahara (‫الصحراء الغربية‬‎)+212
  • Yemen (‫اليمن‬‎)+967
  • Zambia+260
  • Zimbabwe+263
  • Åland Islands+358

    image

    Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

    Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

    Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

    Click to comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment Login

    Leave a Reply

    Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

    image

    Follow Thaiger by email:

    Bangkok8 mins ago

    UPDATE: Bangkok governor candidates answer Russell Crowe’s questions on TV

    Thailand2 hours ago

    Thai man injured in turbulence demands airline to take responsibility

    Thailand2 hours ago

    Thailand News Today | Nok Air’s latest investment failure is costing the airline millions

    Sponsored10 hours ago

    Make your dream vacation at these 5 grandest luxury villas in Phuket

    image
    Travel2 hours ago

    When are the holidays in Thailand, and what do they mean?

    Phuket2 hours ago

    As travel opens, Phuket officials gather to fight drug problem

    Thailand3 hours ago

    Canadian man arrested for stealing traffic barriers in Chiang Mai

    image
    Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
    Thailand3 hours ago

    Wife dies, husband in coma after eating poisonous mushrooms in northeast Thailand

    Thailand3 hours ago

    Thailand’s health officials say flu shots available for 36% of ‘vulnerable’ people

    Thailand4 hours ago

    Unconscious 75 year old woman survives floating 500 metres along a river

    Bangkok4 hours ago

    Monitor lizard stuck in water pump causes flood in Bangkok

    Thailand4 hours ago

    Thai-Chinese gang arrested for dating app scam at Chiang Mai’s luxury resort

    Chon Buri4 hours ago

    Russian woman assaulted in Chon Buri

    Thailand5 hours ago

    Thai PM looks for Field of Dreams reaction on the back of new medical tourism hub

    Chon Buri5 hours ago

    Chon Buri man allegedly attacks neighbour for asking about parcel

    Politics6 hours ago

    Leaders of smaller Thai parties want to legalise online casinos

    Thailand8 months ago

    Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

    Tourism1 year ago

    Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

    Phuket1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

    Tourism1 year ago

    Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

    Tourism1 year ago

    In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

    Trending