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Vietnam may Lose Beaches to Climate Change: Official

Published on 23 August 2016 Vietnam

An idyllic beach is seen in Binh Dinh Province, located in south-central Vietnam (Photo by Tuoi Tre)An idyllic beach is seen in Binh Dinh Province, located in south-central Vietnam (Photo by Tuoi Tre)

A Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism has voiced concern over the potential loss of natural resources and tourist attractions, beaches in particular, due to climate change in a conference to address the effect of climate change on Vietnamese tourism.

Climate change has directly affected several industries in Vietnam, including agriculture, fishing, commerce, and tourism, Dang Thi Bich Lien told the ‘Vietnam: Towards Sustainable Tourism in the Era of Climate Change’ conference in Hanoi on Thursday.

The event was attended by various governmental departments and experts from the ESRT (Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism), a project funded by the European Union.

“Rising sea level could engulf beaches and other natural resources in coastal areas, damage cultural destinations, and flood tourism infrastructure, costing businesses enormous amounts of time and money,” Lien warned.

Peter Burns, a representative speaking on behalf of ESRT experts, said that those responsible for combating climate change in local cities and provinces possess sophisticated scientific knowledge about climate change, but are unaware of the specific challenges facing tourism.

To bridge the gap, Burns emphasized the need to foster information exchanges between governmental departments so that both tourism and environmental agencies can begin to learn about the other side of the coin.

At the conference, the Institute for Tourism Development Research and the Institute for Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources agreed to cooperate on climate change and tourism. 

The two agencies operate under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, respectively.

The two institutes promised to strengthen communication, incorporate climate change into the development strategy for tourism, and execute plan aimed at combating climate change.

In the first seven months of 2016, Vietnam welcomed 5.5 million international visitors, a 24 percent increase from the same period in 2015, and served 38.2 million domestic visitors.

The tourism sector generated US$10.5 billion for Vietnam, growing 22 percent year-on-year.

Tourism is expected to become a leading industry in Vietnam, with a GDP contribution of 10 percent, by 2020.


Source: Tuoi Tre News | 19 August 2016