The water environment in the world-renowned Ha Long Bay has been under tremendous pressure from the growing socio-economic activities in the area.
Recognised twice by the UNESCO as a global heritage, Ha Long Bay remains one of the country’s top attractions – drawing in 9.87 million tourists last year, of which, 4.28 million are foreign tourists, bringing in US$797 million in revenues, up 30% against 2016.
Everyone it seems wants a slice of the pie with a boom in accommodation – 12,000 rooms, 80 hotels, and 512 cruises (including overnight ones).
Pham Dinh Huynh, deputy head of the bay’s management board, said the international recognition of the Bay has been a boom to the province’s development but also causes a lot of troubles for the authorities.
Ha Long Bay is not just a purely tourist site. Several vital socio-economic activities make use of the bay – marine transport route cuts through the bay to move goods from Cai Lan Port to Hai Phong Port and others, aquaculture activities on the water surface, in addition to the rapid expansion of coastal urban areas including the planned development of the special economic zone Van Don.