Cham Islands Do Not Want More Boat Routes from Danang

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Cham Islands Do Not Want More Boat Routes from Danang

The Cham Islands, a group of 8 small islands in Vietnam's Quang Nam province, off the coast of Hoi An, fight against Danang officials' plan to send more tourist boats to the islands.

Since 2015, the Cham islands limited the number of visiting tourists to 3,000 per day in order to protect the vulnerable environment of the islands that form a part of the Cu Lao Cham Marine Park, a world Biosphere Reserve recognized by UNESCO. Yet the islands contunue suffering from the excessive number of tourist boats and waste. Recently, the authorities of the neighbouring Danang announced their plan to introduce more boat routes to the islands regardless the limits set by the protected site leaders.

According to the plan released by Danang authorities in April, by 2021 eight aquatic tourism services will be developed in the region including a direct boat route from the Han River to the Cham Islands. For the islands that are already under pressure of mass tourism, this introduction of additional direct routes promises nothing good. There is a fleet of 152 boats that serve the islands on a daily bases with 145 of them being speed boats. They routinely ply the 20 km route between Cua Dai Port in Hoi An and the Islands.

While the islands' authorities are doing their best to keep a balance between tourism development and nature conservation declaring the islands' priority biodiversity conservation and sustainable development rather than mass tourism, the latter seem to win the race. During the first three months of 2019 alone the Cham islands accommodated about 54,000 tourists – a whooping 69% increase compared to the last year.

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