Ba Ria-Vung Tau: eco-tourism goes with environmental protection

The southeastern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau has promoted eco-tourism to bring new experiences to its visitors, towards green and environmentally friendly tourism.

Utilising strengths

Based on local strengths, Ba Ria-Vung Tau has taken a range of solutions to develop eco-tourism and community-based tourism in combination with landscape conservation.

Director of the provincial Department of Tourism Trinh Hang said tourism is an economic pillar and eco-tourism is among the eight tourist types targeted by the province in 2020-2025.

The province is blessed with primeval forests, mangroves, the Con Dao National Park - a Ramsar site of wetlands of international importance, rivers and sea, which has supported eco-tourism.

Ba Ria and Vung Tau cities have brought into play their potential and strengths, along with existing maritime tourism products to focus on community-based tourism and eco-tourism.

Phu My town has built eco and community-based tourist sites, where high-tech agriculture cooperatives such as Song Xoai and Hac Dich play a role. Tourists also have chances to learn about traditional culture of the Chau Ro ethnic minority group.

Following the trend, Con Dao Island also offers local specialties like wild grapes and ginseng, and community-based tourism services along Con Dao Mountain. Local residents have been encouraged to provide lodging services and products featuring local culture.

In Xuyen Moc and Chau Duc districts, community-based tourism is associated with high-tech agriculture and organic production.

The Binh Chau-Phuoc Buu Nature Reserve in Xuyen Moc district, home to rare many species, has been also an eco-tourism attraction, where vacationers are surrounded by greenery and enjoy trekking, mountain climbing, tree planting and hot-spring bathing, which enable them to understand more about the value of nature and the necessity of environmental protection.

The Binon Cacao Park eco-tourism site, invested by Binon Cacao JSC, in Xa Bang commune, Chau Duc district, is also a retreat for many holidaymakers to Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

Ly Thi Tu Anh, head of the admin and HR department of Binon Cacao JSC, said Ba Ria-Vung Tau is home to the largest area of cacao in the country, and its cacao products have gained a firm foothold in the market.

Binon Cacao JSC has paid heed to environmental protection and expanding the cacao area while operating the eco-tourism site, giving visitors interesting experiences in the nature and promoting the value of local specialties among them, she added.

Tourists can visit cacao gardens and join cacao harvesting, processing and packaging activities, she added.

Strategy set for Con Dao

Con Dao island district is one of the localities in Ba Ria-Vung Tau that boast substantial potential and strengths in eco-tourism, apart from spiritual and maritime tourism. The Con Dao National Park is a highlight of local tourism.

The park is home to 1,077 flora species, a rich and diverse marine ecosystem with coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves, and over 1720 marine species, including turtles that come ashore to lay eggs each year. Notably, it has been carrying out the most green sea turtle conservation and rescue operations in Vietnam.

Con Dao’s eco-tourism products that meet national and international standards have drawn crowds of nature lovers.  

Le Phong, Secretary of the district Party Committee and People’s Committee, said the provincial People’s Committee has approved a project on eco and leisure tourism at the Con Dao National Park in the 2021-2030 period.

Under the project, the conservation of forest and sea resources will go in tandem with tourism development. Tourism services are also expected to contribute to raising public awareness of natural, cultural and historical values in Con Dao, and of environmental protection.

There are various activities for tourists like watching sea turtles laying eggs and baby turtles being released to the sea, swimming, diving and visiting swallows’ nests, along with leisure and health care services.

As many as 17 eco-tourism routes have been launched in Con Dao, including those from Con Son Island to small islets, beaches and bays.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau has also taken a host of solutions to preserve forest and sea resources and biodiversity at the Con Dao National Park, such as building a database on forest resources and a map of forest and sea resources.

Competent forces have conducted regular patrols to prevent poaching and stepped up such activities as tree planting, coral reef restoration and expansion and sea turtle conservation, while enhancing the communication work.