Con Dao Islands challenged with tourism issues

  • 10:06 - 2018/08/18

Authorities are facing various difficulties in attracting international tourists, improving services and protecting the environment on the Con Dao Islands.

    

Authorities are facing difficulties in attracting international tourists 

Can Tho City People's Committee recently suggested to the Ba Ria-Vung Tau provincial authorities and the Ministry of Transport to open a route from Can Tho to Con Dao Islands. The travel time will only be 3 or 3.5 hours.

However, the proposal has been considered inappropriate at this time.

The authorities want to target international tourists but in the first six months of 2018, the islands only received 2,218 international tourists out of 153,000 and earned VND14bn (USD603,000) out of a total 730bn. The number of international tourists and revenue decreased by 21% compared to the same period last year.

According to several experts, the number of domestic tourists will far surpass international tourists while travelling by boat is more convenient than by plane. Tourists only need to pay VND300,000 (USD13,000) for a 2.5 hour trip from Soc Trang Province to Con Dao Islands by fast ferry. Meanwhile, they will need to pay VND2m for a similar trip by plane.

Tourism sites and resort owners said it's very difficult for international tourists to book tickets to Con Dao and marketing targeting international markets have been poor over the past two years.

Trinh Hang, head of the Department of Tourism, opposed against the proposal to open the route to Can Tho since the island needed to improve infrastructure, develop measures to promote tourism and preserve the eco-system at the same time.

Hang said Con Dao would welcome 300,000 tourists by 2030. However, the infrastructure still needed much improvement because it was likely that they would meet the goal in early 2019 or 2020. 

The islands only have 57 resorts or hotels with 955 rooms while facing huge pressure in dealing with clean water, electricity and wastewater. During peak season, many tourists have been unable to find a guest house. Theft and littering are also becoming a problem.

"Con Dao can be isolated during storm season. The flights and boat trips depend on the weather too. Thousands of tourists will be stranded on the islands while the food and accommodation services are still lacking," said Hang.

Source: Vietnamnet

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