Land fever in Phu Quoc has affected the island’s tourism potential because setting up a restaurant or a hotel on the island costs more than on the mainland.
Recently, there have been many complaints about the exorbitant prices of tourism services on the southern island, which is part of the reason why it fared poorly during the recent five-day holiday.
However, few mentioned the price of land there, which is one of the root causes of high prices on the island.
The cost of meals and hotel stay on the tourist island is many times higher than on the mainland. But it is easy to criticize tourism service providers for doing business recklessly. You have to accept the fact that the price of land in Phu Quoc is very high.
During the pandemic, while tourism was in standby mode, land prices still increased rapidly.
We should not compare Phu Quoc’s tourism with Thailand’s because the latter’s tourism infrastructure was completely developed long before Covid, so when the pandemic lifted, tourism swiftly resumed.
Imagine yourself in the position of a Phu Quoc businessman: you borrow money to buy a piece of land three times more expensive than elsewhere, then build a hotel that costs double the normal price.
Then when you just open, the pandemic hits. You can’t run your business and have no plans to repay debt and interest that’s piling up. You’re drowning, and luckily tourism revives, giving you a rope to climb back up. Then before you reach the shore, people turn their backs and remove the rope.
Phu Quoc is very beautiful and has the potential for development, but land speculation has destroyed its sustainability.