The Rise of CSR in Phu Quoc’s Hospitality Industry

By: Angee the Diva & Stuart Miller

An example of a beautiful resort in Phu Quoc helping to preserve the island’s natural surroundings

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As with any popular tourist destination, Vietnam’s gorgeous island of Phu Quoc is not short of resorts. Island-wide, a growing range of accommodation caters for every budget and holiday experience. However, with such growth come concerns about sustainability and consideration for the island’s ecosystems. Thankfully, an increasing number of resorts in Phu Quoc’s hospitality industry are showing consciousness about their effects on the environment, social landscape, and local economy.

Resorts in Phu Quoc Realise That Staff Are People Too

Fusion Resort Phu Quoc is the pinnacle of relaxation and privacy for discerning travellers. The secret to the resort’s success, though, lies not in obsession with profits, but in the exceptional treatment of its employees. Staff receive a higher pay than at most resorts on Phu Quoc island and enjoy the “luxury” of two days off per week - uncommon in Asian hospitality businesses. As a result, employees enjoy a living wage and high job satisfaction.

Phu Quoc’s Hospitality IndustryImage source: agoda.net

Additionally, employees report feeling that there is a family environment at Fusion that encourages growth, collaboration, and high staff retention. The management at Fusion Resort Phu Quoc have it figured out - if you take care of the employees, they will work hard and ultimately keep guests satisfied.

At the family friendly resort of the new Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc, hired staff that are not local recruits are assisted with relocation costs and employees are provided with return flight tickets to allow them to visit their hometowns and families. Bonus allowances are offered for special life events and through company awards, and employees’ families are gifted discounted stays at the resort. Along with a comprehensive training and career plan, Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc knows these actions go a long way to keeping a happy staff, which then benefits their guests.

Phu Quoc’s Hospitality IndustryImage source: Mervin Lee

Preserving Phu Quoc’s Natural Beauty

Along the shores of Ong Lang Beach stands Mango Bay Resort, seamlessly integrated into the natural landscape. Unfortunately, many resorts are built at the expense of the natural ecology of the island; however, Mango Bay is different. When building the resort, the architects worked hard to avoid environmentally negative actions, such as cutting trees and clearing native vegetation. In addition, the landscape design includes only indigenous plant species.

Mango Bay has also taken measures to protect the coral reef in their section of Ong Lang Beach by discouraging fishing and educating guests to prevent further damage. Other resorts and businesses on Phu Quoc, and throughout Vietnam, could do well to take note of Mango Bay Resort’s initiatives to help preserve the long term viability of the country’s beautiful natural habitat.

Phu Quoc’s Hospitality IndustryImage source: Mango Bay Resort

Hospitality in Phu Quoc: Community Involvement

Smaller resorts are also doing their part to improve social constructs. Phu Quoc Ecolodge is a Vietnamese-owned and operated boutique resort in Cua Can. As the name implies, environmental sustainability of Phu Quoc is a core value of the resort. They use solar panels, provide glass bottles and refill stations for drinking water, and grow herbs and vegetables on site. The rooms remain delightfully comfortable and the property is breathtaking while maintaining a low carbon footprint.

Most notable, though, is the dedication to the local Phu Quoc community of the owner, Phong Bui. He regularly works with clean up efforts in the area and, though it’s a slow process, he patiently impresses upon his neighbors the importance of reducing plastics, keeping trash out of the water, and properly disposing of waste. Additionally, he supports the local economy by providing Phu Quoc-made and environmentally-conscious products at Phu Quoc Ecolodge. Change is easier when motivated by economic viability.

Phu Quoc’s Hospitality IndustryImage source: tripadvisor.com

Phu Quoc’s Plastic Reduction and the Use of Sustainable Materials

It has been impossible to escape the global plastic reduction movement in recent years (for good reason) and encouragingly, this trend is also gaining momentum with top resorts in Phu Quoc.

Supporting this movement in Phu Quoc is the company Bamboo Step, who are supplying a number of the island’s major hotels and resorts with premium quality bamboo drinking straws to ease the burden of single use plastic. Some of the best Phu Quoc resorts such as La Veranda, Fusion, Best Western Sonasea Phu Quoc, JW Marriott and Radisson Blu are all playing their part by using bamboo, grass or metal straws instead of plastic ones.

Phu Quoc’s Hospitality IndustryImage source: shutterstock.com

Going a step further at the plush Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island, bamboo and grass straws are used as standard. Ceramic containers for bath products are included in all rooms, and carafes of filtered water are available for a small fee to cut down on purchased plastic bottles. Biodegradable and renewable materials such as Accoya wood were used in the construction of Salinda, showing that the sustainability commitment was present from day one.

Phu Quoc’s Hospitality IndustryImage source: shutterstock.com

It is clear that there is a lot of positive work being done at some of the excellent resorts in Phu Quoc, which gives good reason to be cautiously optimistic for the future of sustainability on the island. However, there is always much more that can be done and there are still plenty of challenges to making more significant progress; policies that are environmentally and socially responsible usually hit a resort’s bottom line, at least in the short term.

If the growing trends of sustainability and environmental protection gather increasing local and governmental support, then Phu Quoc, as one of Vietnam’s best places to visit, will continue its rise to becoming a sustainable tourist destination in all regards.

Banner Image source: Mervin Lee

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