Con Dao engages in sustainable tourism

Saturday - 11/12/2021 02:34
Con Dao is an archipelago in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province off the southern coast of Vietnam, 230 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City. The US’s Travel and Leisure magazine included Con Dao in the top 20 most mysterious islands in the world.

Con Dao wins points for its beautiful, neglected beaches. (Photo: vnexpress) 

The archipelago has won fame domestically and globally for its uncrowded beaches, clean air, and stunning landscapes. Local authorities have recognized tourism a key to Con Dao’s sustainable development and given priority to protecting the environment and ecosystem. 

Con Dao archipelago encompasses 16 islands, the largest of which is called Con Son. It features a warm tropical climate and a diverse marine and coastal ecosystem, perfect for resort-oriented eco-tourism. In 2015, Con Dao was included by the Prime Minister in a national master plan for tourism development.

Con Dao served as a prison for political prisoners during the French colonial era. Historical relics, including Hang Duong cemetery and the nationally recognized Con Dao prison, and traditional festivals of coastal residents are additional attractions.    

Between 2017 and 2019, tourist visits to Con Dao grew 20% annually. Its tourism revenue rose 15.5% a year.

Le Ngoc Khanh, Vice Chairman of the Ba Ria-Vung Tau provincial People’s Committee, said, “Our tourism services have expanded in quantity and quality. We have upgraded resorts, restaurants, and transportation on the islands and passenger express boats, which have significantly shortened the travel time from shore to the islands. This has generated jobs and ensured social security.”

But as more tourists head to Con Dao, the more improvement the island district needs in transportation infrastructure, power and water supply, and treatment of waste and wastewater.

A top destination on Con Dao island is Con Dao National Park, which has been recognized as a Ramsar wetlands site. The park is rich in fauna and flora, many species of which are listed in the red book of endangered species.

Nguyen Khac Pho, Director of Con Dao National Park, pointed out that “More and more pressure is being brought to bear on the ecosystem by the growing number of visitors to Con Dao. We need to regulate the number of tourist arrivals to our islands. The goal of preserving a green, clean island is within reach if the community gets involved.”

Ba Ria-Vung Tau authorities have devised a plan for high-quality, green, clean, and sustainable tourism for Con Dao until 2025. Under the plan, Con Dao will receive more investment in its waste and wastewater treatment, tighten population control to avoid a large population increase, build a code of conduct at tourism sites, protect the environment, and teach young people about their predecessors’ patriotic movements.

Vice Chairman Khanh underlined the need to carry out tourism promotion programs, develop core products, improve infrastructure, train tourism personnel and regularly oversee progress in turning Con Dao into a national tourism hub


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