Viet Nam News
HỘI AN — Visitors to a nipa palm forest in Cẩm Thanh Commune on the lower Thu Bồn River will have to pay entrance fees from next month..
Vice chairman of Hội An City’s People’s Committee Nguyễn Văn Sơn said ticket collections were aimed at promoting tourism and protecting nature.
Sơn said booming forest tourism in recent years had damaged habitats and scenery landscapes in the wetlands - and that local administration was too weak to control the situation.
“We will offer tickets for VNĐ30,000 (US$1.30) from early December. Reception centres and rest-stops have also been developed,” Sơn said.
“We also have 450 coracles for paddling through the forest. They will cost between VNĐ200,000 ($8.80) and VNĐ300,000 ($13.20),” he said, adding that residents would be invited to join the tourism service teams.
He said each coracle owner would get VNĐ80,000 ($3.50) from each rental and that 8 per cent of entrance costs would return to households in the community-based tourism team.
Sơn said the forest hosted about 5,000 visitors in the high season and at weekends.
Nipa palm forest is the most powerful plant in the wetland of Cẩm Thanh Commune and ecological system, which ranges from Hội An to Cửa Đại estuary and Chàm Island.
It plays an important role in Chàm Island-Hội An, as it sheltered fish and aquatic species during breeding.
A report from the Chàm Islands revealed that poor planning development had claimed 40ha of nina palms between 1975 and 1990, while rapid urban expansion encroached on to 20 per cent more of the forest.
Hội An has already successfully launched community-based tourism activities, such as farming, fishing, boat rides and biking. — VNS