ecotourism2Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam, 4 December 2014- Ly Son Island's leaders hope to transform it into an ecotourism centre, Tran Ngoc Nguyen, Chairman of the island's People's Committee, said at a seminar yesterday.

The event, titled Eco-planning toward sustainable development for Ly Son island, included information sessions with ecotourism experts from South Korea, a country that has integrated ecotourism into its tourism industry and cultural heritage efforts.

Participants also toured the island to evaluate its infrastructure and potential.

Importance of Ecotourism highlighted

"Ecotourism might be the solution to many pressing problems, such as economic development, climate change, preserving natural resources and national sovereignty," said Nguyen Quang, director of UN-Habitat Vietnam.  “Authorities should encourage the island's residents to participate in the planning process and contribute ideas to a development strategy.”

Chairman of the International Urban Training Centre, Professor Kwi Gon Kim, explained that ecotourism was an excellent method for promoting the preservation of nature.  The island, gifted with beautiful beaches, ancient pagodas and vibrant fishing communities, has the potential to become an attractive ecotourism site, he said.

Ly Son island is about 15 nautical miles offshore in Quang Ngai province. It is the most populated island in the country, with a population of 21,500 who working mainly as seafood farmers.