Nguyen Van Tuan, General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has admitted that the seaside has been cut into small bits and seaside investment projects should be reexamined.
After development experts and newspapers rang alarm bells over the “disappearance” of beautiful beaches to massive construction of resorts and hotels, Government officials have realized the issue’s importance. Tuan, in a recent interview given to Tuoi tre newspaper, admitted that mismanagement is the culprit.
He explained that, in the strategy on Vietnam’s tourism, sea tourism has played the most important role and always tops the list of priority tourism products. Tourists come to Vietnam mostly because it has beautiful beaches. Therefore, if travelers cannot access public beaches because the seaside has been “appropriated” by private resorts and hotels, this will become a big problem. Tuan stressed that VNAT is trying to find a solution.
Nguyen Van Tuan: We must admit this. The detailed programming for tourism destinations and areas now reveals a lot of problems that authorities could not realize. They did not foresee all the possible outcomes, which has resulted in the fact that common property cannot be used in the most reasonable way.
Mui Ne beach should be seen as a typical lesson. The sea there is wonderful. Under current regulations, investors, who plan to build resorts of two hectares and more, must ask permission from the Government. Meanwhile, investors who plan to build on less than two hectares must only obtain permission from area authorities. Therefore, a lot of investors lower their investment scale so that they can easily obtain investment licenses.
As a result, the seaside has been cut into small bits with no free space for the community and tourists.
One of the big problems is that, even though there are hundreds of resorts and hotels along tens of kilometers of the beach, there are very few resorts with international standards that can become high grade resorts for high class guests. This is really a big waste of natural resources.
Most worrisome, this is occurring not only in Mui Ne, but also many other places.
Tuan: In the overall tourism development strategy for 2011-2020, we will mention the issue as important. VNAT is now reviewing the achievements, shortcomings and problems in implementation of the last 10-year development strategy and is considering setting up new tasks for the next 10 years. Especially, we will reconsider seaside investment. The next 10-year development strategy needs to have reasonable plans to create modern, high class services and tourism products, while avoiding the waste the natural resources. Our principle is that we should admit shortcomings and settle them. The general department will advise area authorities on programs for sea tourism development.
Than Thanh Vu, Secretary General of the Tourism Real Estate Association:
The most important thing now is to harmonise the benefits of investors and the community.
Most areas still do not have an overall development program, which has caused big difficulties for tourism real estate projects and contradictions between investors and the community.
I hope that the Tourism Real Estate Association will have a voice in local tourism development. If necessary, we need to invite foreign consultants who have experience from other countries.