Harmonious tourism, environment protection urged in Son Tra Peninsula

The development of tourism in Son Tra Peninsula of central Da Nang city must be in harmony with environmental and biodiversity protection and sustainable development, according to many participants in a seminar in Hanoi on May 30.

An unlicensed construction site in Son Tra Peninsula (Photo: VNA)

An unlicensed construction site in Son Tra Peninsula (Photo: VNA)

The seminar, which sought sustainable tourism development in the Son Tra national tourism site, drew representatives of many ministries, sectors and the Vietnam Tourism Association (VITA), and specialists in environment, construction and tourism.

Deputy Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Huynh Vinh Ai said in the strategy for and master plan on Vietnam’s tourism development until 2020, Son Tra Peninsula is named one of the 47 potential places to be developed into national tourism sites. 

A master plan for developing the Son Tra national tourism site was publicised in early 2017 by the ministry and Da Nang city. 

However, the Da Nang Tourism Association and some relevant organisations and agencies asked the Prime Minister to review this plan in fear that it might influence biodiversity preservation and security-defence. They also called for maintaining the status quo of Son Tra without any new accommodation facilities allowed to be built, he noted.

The issue is complex and controversial and requires thorough consideration, particularly when it comes to the handling of the projects that were already approved on the site, Ai added.

VITA Vice Chairman Vu The Binh said strict regulations, especially those on the environment, must be issued to ensure the sustainable development of tourism. He asked all the licensed projects to be reviewed so as to make appropriate adjustments.

“We should not be too persistent in keeping the status quo of Son Tra but make harmonious development and construction so that (Son Tra) deserves the status of a national tourism site,” he noted.

He added close supervision is needed for stages of a project, to ensure it won’t affect the environment. Any investors who violate environmental protection rules must be stringently handled and their projects must be stopped.

Deputy Minister Ai said Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam recently ordered a three-month suspension of the implementation of the master plan for developing the Son Tra national tourism site so that Da Nang can settle related requests.

Another seminar on the issue will be held in Da Nang to collect opinions of experts and officials. 

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and the Da Nang People’s Committee will review the adjustment of the number of accommodation rooms in Son Tra. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will work on data about local forests and biodiversity preservation, Ai noted.

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