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Published on : Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Although Vietnam’s sea tourism industry has great scope for improvement, the sector faces a lot of challenges due to increasing environmental pollution. Vietnam’s coastal areas welcome around 80% of international visitors, bringing 70% of revenues for the national tourism industry. The country’s 1 million square kilometers of sea surface, over 2,770 islands and a range of beaches attract foreign visitors every year and many areas are hotspots for tourists. However, increase in marine pollution is hindering the development of this lucrative industry and situations can worsen if proper measures are not taken soon.
Institute for Tourism Development Research (ITDR) said that it is very important to identify the sources of pollution before taking preventive measures. According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), the main reasons for the marine pollution are unsustainable industrial development and unrestrained aquaculture production. Increase in population along with lack of knowledge among local people also added to the sea pollution.
Around 70 to 80% of the sea waste was derived from land-based resources and solid waste from factories, industrial parks and residential areas. Use of explosives, toxic chemicals in offshore fishing is reducing fishery resources and severely affecting the marine ecosystem. Another major cause of marine pollution as described by the investigators was oil spills from wrecked ships. Untreated waste incessantly discharged into rivers and sea would harm the sea environment and negatively influence the development of the tourism sector.
Hence, in order to achieve sustainable development for the tourism industry and to attract more tourists, Viet Nam needs to solve the issue of pollution, both in coastal areas and sea with immediate effect.