Viet Nam News
QUẢNG NGÃI - Lý Sơn Island is becoming an attractive destination for domestic and foreign visitors because of its unique natural landscape.
But that very beauty is in danger of being destroyed due to the lack of a master plan for building restaurants and hotels.
According to the People’s Committee of Lý Sơn Island District in the central province of Quảng Ngãi, about 45,000 tourists came here in 2015, spending VND546 billion (nearly US$24.5 million).
It is expected that the number of tourists will reach 80,000 by 2020, bringing VND1,200 billion ($53.8 million) to the island.
However, in spite of the promise of increased tourism, the landscape here is threatened by a construction boom that includes hundreds of tourism projects.
A number of restaurants and hotels were built or are under construction with differing architectural styles, Người Lao Động (Labourer) newspaper reported recently.
Trần Hoàng, a local resident in An Vĩnh Commune, said ten years ago that the island was very wild, with spectacular natural scenery.
But beginning over two years ago, the landscape has been gradually destroyed by unplanned buildings, Hoàng told the newspaper.
"The fragmented tourism development is worsening the natural landscape. Many cultivated areas are being turned into construction land for tourism," Hoàng added.
Further, bars, restaurants and hotels have been illegally built in the centre of the island at famous tourist spots, such as in Hang Cau, Hang Cò, and Cổng Tò Vò.
After holidays, the region was scarred by rubbish, the newspaper said.
Nông thôn ngày nay (Countryside Today) newspaper recently reported that the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism reported the situation to the provincial authority.
The report noted that the lack of direction on massive building has negatively affected the island, particularly the environment and beautiful beaches.
Huỳnh Thị Phương Hoa, deputy director of the department, told the Người Lao Động newspaper that poor supervision by local authorities caused the problems, though the province has approved an overall plan for tourism on the island.
To solve this problem, provincial inspection teams are to examine land management and construction, which were reported to have affected the landscape of the entire island.
Further, cases of using planned tourism land for other purposes would be strictly dealt with, according to the provincial party committee.
The committee has also directed local authorities to review and temporarily stop carrying out tourism projects that are not funded by the State budget, to wait for more specific plans, said Lê Minh Huấn, head of the office of the provincial People’s Committee.
Relevant agencies were also required to review and propose plans to adjust construction projects, aiming to ensure the well-being of the ecosystem and natural landscape.
“The prolonged situation will risk breaking the well-endowed natural landscape of the island in the future,” Trần Văn Minh, Deputy Secretary of provincial Party Committee said. - VNS