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Beautiful seascapes become private property?   2010-09-28 - Tuoi tre

Development experts warn that many beautiful beaches will become private property if seaside cities cannot guide plans for the future carefully.


Many tourism projects in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province had been kept quiet after the developers were granted investment licenses. However, the projects are once again a hot topic, as many have become real estate tourism projects.


Along the coastal road from Long Hai Town in Long Dien District to Binh Chau area in Xuyen Moc district, tens of real estate tourism projects have been kicked off, including The Long Hai, Hai Minh Luxury Seaside Villas & Hotel Zone, Sanctuary Ho Tram, and Binh Chau resort.


A lot of investors have joined the real estate tourism sector. Many tourism projects are being built on land plots once reserved for other projects. Meanwhile, a lot of other investors are seeking permission to change tourism projects into real estate tourism projects.


The Oceanami Resort & Luxury Home project is a typical example. Considered as the ‘golden land area” along the Ba Ria-Vung Tau coastal route, in 2004, the land was planned as a tourist site. The firm in charge of its development took no steps in the years since.  Suddenly, people have heard that it will become a real estate tourism project developed by Hoa Anh Dao Tourism Company.


Construction will start in late September 2010, just three months after it was altered as a real estate tourism project. The developer said that 40 percent of the total 20 hectares of land will be reserved for villas, while the other 60 percent will be reserved for infrastructure.


It is highly possible that another tourism project, Kawasamii in Dat Do District developed by Nam Hai Tourism and Investment Company, will be replaced by a real estate tourism project. In late 2003, the 13 hectare land plot was expected to become a tourist site for sea bathing, relaxing and organizing conferences.


However, in late May 2010, Nam Hai asked for many changes and argued that the investment would not be effective if it was for a purely tourist project. He asked for permission to use part of the land, 10 hectares, for building villas.


Some development analysts caution that this trend may transform many beautiful beaches into private assets.


“If we develop tourism sites, the whole community can enjoy the seaside. Meanwhile, if we develop real estate projects, only a few people will be able to enjoy the natural landscapes, because the villas are very expensive,” the deputy director of a travel firm explained.


Nguyen Thanh Dung, Chair of Dat Do District, which is one of the controversial areas, admitted that authorities aim to develop some coastal tourism urban areas. However, the authorities have only allowed some projects to begin, asking the developers to ensure benefits for society, enterprises and the community in harmonization.


Phan Huu Thang, Chair of the Real Estate Tourism Sub-association, avers that this trend helps develop tourism, because it diversifies the products available.


Thang acknowledges, however, that coastal provinces need to possess a clear program for tourism and real estate tourism development and they must define the land funds for public tourism development and real estate tourism projects. “For every coastal area, there must be an area big enough to develop public tourism to serve the community,” Thang maintained.

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