ECOTOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN CHÀM ISLAND – HỘI AN

ECOTOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN CHÀM ISLAND – HỘI AN 1
Chu Mạnh Trinh 2
Abstract
Drawing on the diversity and richness of the coastal and river ecosystem, ecotourism in the Cham Islands – Hoi An area has grown rapidly over the past decade. In the past ten years, the number of visitors to the Cham Islands has grown from several thousand tourists in 2004 to 195,000 tourists in 2013. Twelve new kinds of livelihoods have been created by the increased tourism, which has increased local residents’ annual income from 6 million dong ($300USD) in 2005 to 24 million dong ($1200USD) in 2013. The improved income and living standards resulting from ecotourism have encouraged local residents to participate in the island’s natural resource protection. Participatory environmental programs such as separating garbage at its source, an anti-plastic bag campaign, and community-based landcrab management initiatives have been widely heralded as models for the entire country.
The article will present the overall Cham Islands – Hoi An ecotourism approach, highlighting how conservation facilitates increased tourism and how tourism revenue, in turn, is used to support environmental protection. The paper will come up with a new approach to tourism in the Thu Bon river downstream region. This approach emphasizes material economic benefits, as well as honoring and protecting local culture and wisdom. Following the Cham Islands-Hoi An ecotourism model, local people have gradually adopted more environmentally-friendly practices. The article will also analyze the challenges and development strategies of managing tourism on the Cham Islands, including increased demand and over-exploitation of natural resources, increased garbage, inland pollution, and natural disasters. 

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 Workshop on Ecotourism Development in Protected Areas (09 – 10 December 2013)
 Management Board of Marine Protected Area of Chàm Island. Email: mtrinh.clcmpa@gmail.com
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