Vietnam fines resort $4,600 for filling in part of world-renowned bay

By Xuan Ngoc   October 4, 2017 | 09:09 pm PT
Vietnam fines resort $4,600 for filling in part of world-renowned bay
Construction of a resort complex encroaches on Nha Trang Bay in Khanh Hoa Province. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuoc
Tourism overkill is threatening to destroy the environment in Nha Trang.

Authorities in the central province of Khanh Hoa have fined a resort complex VND105 million ($4,620) for filling in part of Nha Trang Bay, whose title as one of the world’s most beautiful has been undermined by rapid tourism development.

The provincial government said the Champarama Travel JSC had filled in more than 1.7 hectares (4.2 acres) of the bay for the construction of a high-end resort and conference complex.

The $52.8 million project had been allocated 44 hectares of land by the bay.

Khanh Hoa has ordered the company to restore the area in question to its former state.

But members of the public have dismissed the mission as impossible, saying that the damage is irreversible. They have also asked why it has taken authorities so long to take action, according to comments in local media reports.

Nha Trang Bay entered the exclusive club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World in 2003. The club also includes the world-renowned Ha Long Bay and Lang Co Bay in the central resort town of Hue.

But a lot has changed since then. In 2010, National Geographic rated it among the worst beach destinations in the world, criticizing it for “overdevelopment without a watchful eye”.

The Institute of Oceanography based in Nha Trang warned a couple of years ago that the ecology of the 500-square-kilometer Nha Trang Bay has deteriorated rapidly due to tourism construction projects, leaving many native species teetering on the verge of extinction.

In January 2016, a resort project was also fined VND200 million ($8,920) for dumping construction materials to fill in 2.3 hectares of the bay.

Khanh Hoa received nearly one million foreign tourists in the first half of this year, up 80 percent from a year ago. Most of the visitors were from China and Russia, according to Khanh Hoa Newspaper.

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