The southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau has approved a project for eco-tourism, resorts and entertainment at the province’s protected forests from now until 2030 and a project for eco-tourism, resorts and entertainment at Binh Chau-Phuoc Buu Nature Reserve in the province’s Xuyen Moc District.
A view of Binh Chau-Phuoc Buu Nature Reserve in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province’s Xuyen Moc District. — VNS Photo Huynh Son
More than 6,500 hectares of protected forests can be rented out for developing eco-tourism, resorts and entertainment services, said Nguyen Duy Bac, director of the Management Board of Protected Forests in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.
The management board will coordinate with investors to build tourist routes in Dinh Mountain in Phu My Commune, Nua Mountain in Long Son Commune, Sao Mountain in Xuan Son Commune, Minh Dam Mountain in Dat Do Commune, Phuoc Hoi regenerated forest in Dat Do District, Phuoc Thuan Commune’s protected forest, and Long Son Commune’s mangrove forest.
Walking routes leading to forests, stop stations, observation sites and other facilities for visitors to explore the forest nature will also be built, he said.
For years, the province has set aside funds for forest protection, regeneration and development activities, resulting in strict protection of natural forest and development of diversified ecosystems.
Nguyen Cong Vinh, deputy chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said the approved project for eco-tourism, resorts and entertainment from now until 2030 will bolster environmentally friendly tourism.
With its diverse forest and sea resources, historical relics at Dinh and Minh Dam mountains, and the Binh Chau-Phuoc Buu Nature Reserve, the province has become increasingly popular to domestic and foreign tourists, Vinh said.
Tourism development has generated jobs for locals and income for forest owners as well as boosted the province’s socio-economic development, he said.
Pham Thi Na, deputy director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said forest owners need to take a proactive role in reviewing, planning and developing eco-tourism development projects while protecting the diversity and nature of protected and special-use forests and forest conservation.
Forest owners need to build eco-tourism routes and destinations to explore natural landscapes and still ensure the sustainable development of natural ecosystems.
Biodiversity conservation in the province has been implemented well over the past year, according to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
However, environmentally friendly economic development and forest educational research have yet to be sufficiently invested in and effectively exploited.
Nguyen Dang Quan, deputy director of the Binh Chau-Phuoc Buu Nature Reserve Management Board, said nine projects related to eco-tourism, resorts and entertainment are operating at the Binh Chau- Phuoc Buu Nature Reserve.
Annual forest environment tax payments from these projects reached nearly VND560 million (US$24,000).
The board set a target of raising the annual revenue of forest environmental services to VND6 billion ($257,000) by 2030.
To fulfil this target, it called for investors to cooperate and establish a joint venture to rent the forest environment for eco-tourism.
Projects to build tourist infrastructure and entertainment sites and develop environmentally friendly tourism products have been given priority, he said.
Trinh Hang, director of the provincial Department of Tourism, said the province has huge potential for developing eco-tourism thanks to its forests, mangroves, Ramsar sites and sea.
The Department of Tourism in coordination with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development plan to implement the project on eco-tourism at the province’s protected forests to create more tourism products suitable to the natural conditions of each locality without affecting the ecological environment.
The Department of Tourism asked the province’s Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Centre and travel firms to build up new eco-tourism routes.