Vietnam major ecotourism town to go up in Biosphere Reserve
Can Gio Biosphere Reserve, 50 km southeast of downtown Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam, will house a 600-hectare ecotourism town characterized by an artificial bay.
Saigon Sunbay, on which Can Gio Tourist City Corporation (CTC) started work last week, will reserve 200 hectares for the artificial crystal-clear bay. Can Gio District's seawaters are muddy all year round.
CTC will take white sand from the central region, which is home to many beautiful beaches, to the bay to create artificial beaches to serve residents in the US$526-mil town and tourists.
It will take around five years to complete two phases of covering the town's beaches with white sand.
The remaining 600 hectares will be for tourism service facilities and luxury housing in the town in Long Hoa Commune.
Hotels and resorts for modern living and recreation will be constructed by the joint venture Semtech Limited Co. I China's CCCC Guangzhou Dredging Co. will be responsible for reclamation and water work; and the project manager is Meinhardt (Vietnam) Ltd.
In the first phase from 2007 to 2010, some US$280mil will be spent on ground leveling and expansion out to the sea. Phase two from 2010 to 2013 will be dedicated to completing infrastructure.
Upon completion by 2016, the town will be able to accommodate 33,000 people at a time, including 22,000 tourists.
This project will awake the potential of ecotourism in the area and spur social and economic development of the poor district which has long been depending on aquaculture, Nguyen Huu Tho, chairman of CTC, said at the groundbreaking ceremony.
The project is expected to serve as a model of ecological tourism in the country and contribute to the sustainable development of the tourism industry.
With around 80,000 hectares of mangroves, and water-coconut trees, rivers and canals, Can Gio is considered Ho Chi Minh City's green lungs. It was recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2000 as one of the world's Biosphere Reserves.
It now takes almost two hours to drive from the city center to the 71,000-hectare district due to a ferry transit in Binh Khanh but the traveling time is expected to fall considerably when a bridge is completed to replace Binh Khanh ferry terminal by 2010.