The National Geographic Traveller magazine ratings that list Nha Trang beach as a destination “facing trouble” have come as a warning to the local administration on the need for sustainable tourism development and management.
The comment was made by vice chairman of the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa ‘s People’s Committee Le Xuan Than at a press briefing on Nov. 23.
The list appears in the November/December 2010 issue owned by the National Geographic Society’s Centre for Sustainable Destinations.
Than said the province would pay more attention to sustainable tourism, but also added that they have taken many actions to protect and improve Nha Trang beach.
“The province has been investing thousands of billions of Vietnamese dong in upgrading shortcomings in the environment and landscape,” he said.
Than said that because Nha Trang beach is located near a populous city with heavy tourism, it was difficult for it to receive high rankings based on National Geographic Traveller magazine’s criteria, which stresses beaches’ natural and untapped characteristics.
He said that although the committee respected the ratings, newspapers and magazines should provide enough information when quoting from the magazine to avoid misunderstandings and negative effects on the tourism sector of Khanh Hoa.
He particularly noted that Nha Trang beach was listed among the top five beach destinations that “face trouble”, not among the “ten worst beach destinations” as was mentioned by some newspapers and magazines.
“The committee will send documents to the magazine to help them have more information and pictures about Nha Trang beach,” he said.
Based on six standards, including environmental and ecological quality, social and cultural integrity, the condition of historic buildings and archaeological sites, aesthetic appeal, quality of tourism management, and outlook for the future, Nha Trang received 43 points and was listed as a beach that needs improvement.
To create the ratings, the centre gathered an independent panel of 340 experts in fields from historic preservation and sustainable tourism to travel writing and archaeology to score 99 coastal hot spots around the world, using categories such as “top rated,” “doing well,” “in the balance,” “facing trouble,” and “bottom rated”.