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Cham Island attracts tourists but room for improvement exists

In Uncategorized on June 21, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Cu Lao Cham (Cham Island), in Hoi An town of the central province of Quang Nam, received recognition as a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO one year ago, is regarded as a biological tourist heaven, attracting large numbers of visitors.

Cu Lao Cham is well-known for its wildness, seafood and hospitality  (Photo: Sggp)

The archipelago, with eight big and small islands covers an area of 15 square kilometers.

According to scientists, Cu Lao Cham is home to over 947 species, of which 170 are sea organisms, 50 are fish, and many other species classified as endangered by Vietnam’s Red Book.

The area is also home to 135 species of coral, including six that are new to Vietnamese seas.

“Travelers are very interested in visiting Cu Lao Cham because of its wilderness, seafood and hospitality. Visitors can also explore hidden beauty underwater with thousands of splendid coral with scuba diving tours,” said Nguyen Son Thuy, Director of Hoi An Travel.

However, so far, the Cham Island has no hotels. Visitors have to spend the night in residents’ houses or camp in tents on the beach.

“The local authorities are very careful about developing the island in such a way that does not affect the nature. The biggest problem in development strategy and calling investors to the island is energy resource. Electricity is provided from small diesel generators that pollutes the air and water,” said Mr. Le Van Giang, Chairman of Hoi An People’s Committee.

The local government is cooperating with scientists of the Vietnam Energy Institute to find solutions to create clear energy resources from the sun, bio-fuel and others with a cost of more than VND300 billion (US$15 million).

A lack of transportation is another problem.  New forms of transport are needed to link the island to the mainland. Currently, the only method of transportation are high-speed boats and wood fishing vessels, which can not be used during rainy season.

The government should provide a long-term plan with strong investment to develop the UNESCO-recognized biosphere reserve in a way that is environmentally friendly.

Source: SGGP