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Cu Lao Cham Island faces visitor overloading

12 May 2019 | 07:15:00 AM

Cu Lao Cham Island in the central city of Quang Nam has become overloaded with tourists, further pressuring the locality’s fresh water shortage.

According to the Hoi An City Culture and information Centre, up to nearly 20,000 tourists visited Cu Lao Cham during the five-day Reunification Day and Labour Day holiday this year, equal to around 4,200 daily on average.


A corner of Cu Lao Cham Island

In the first quarter of this year, the island served nearly 54,000 visitors, up 169% on year from 420,000 last year. This year, Cu Lao Cham is expected to welcome the same number of visitors as last year.

Meanwhile, the entire population in Cu Lao Cham depends on an 80,000 cubic-metre water tank in Bai Bim area, so the island often lacks water, particularly during the dry season.

The local underground water sources have decreased sharply and faced severe pollution as up to four tonnes of litter are produced every day on the island, with most of it manually processed or buried.

Under Hoi An City authorities’ instruction, the island is allowed to receive just 3,000 visitors per day. The fees to visit Cu Lao Cham has increased to VND70,000 from VND30,000. However, tourist numbers are still on the rise, which has threatened the island’s biodiversity.

To ensure food for tourism services, local residents have to catch more seafood, damaging the natural resources.

Nguyen Van Son, vice chairman of Hoi An City People’s Committee, “Over the past four years, we have not permitted travel companies to increase tours to Cu Lao Cham.”

Regarding Danang’s plan to open a tour from Han River to Cu Lao Cham, Son said that Hoi An authorities worried that this would harm the island.

“Danang needs to work with Hoi An about the plan to ensure that the number of visitors is acceptable to ensure safety for Cu Lao Cham,” Son noted.


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