VietnamNet reports that the tourism authorities of the four central coastal provinces of Vietnam that were affected by an industrial waste spill have proposed that the Government adopt “support solutions” for tourism and tourism-related services. These might include lowering or exempting loan interest, rescheduling loans, or freezing debts.
Ha Tinh Province, where the pollution occurred, reported a year-on-year plunge of 90% in sea tourism revenue in the January-September period while providers of other tourism services saw their revenue plummet 40-50%.
Lost revenue from travel, hotel and restaurant services in Quang Binh Province has so far amounted to VND1.9 trillion (US$85.3 million).
Nguyen Van Ky, deputy director of Quang Binh’s Department of Tourism, reportedly said tourist arrivals dipped more than 70% in the first nine months of 2016, despite efforts to promote cave discovery tours.
Hotel investors in Quang Binh have also felt the impact of the pollution. Seventeen half-finished hotel projects are suspended due to the sharp decline in tourist arrivals.
Ky reportedly said: “VND15-17 billion has been spent on each hotel project on average. The pollution has left negative impacts on both fishery and tourism sectors but travel and other services firms are not entitled to compensation or support.”
Less-affected Quang Tri Province nevertheless counted losses of VND250 billion, while Thua Thien-Hue Province has shifted its focus to other tourism products to offset lost revenue in sea tourism services.
Industrial waste dumped into the sea in April by Taiwanese steel maker Formosa Ha Tinh Steel in Ha Tinh Province resulted in more than 100 tons of fish washing ashore along the central coast, directly affecting thousands of families in fishing communities. In late June, Formosa admitted responsibility and agreed to pay half a billion U.S. dollars in economic damage.