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Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town
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Vung Tau: Spatial Identity Formation, Tourism and Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town

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Gezgin, U. B. (2010). Spatial identity formation, tourism and sustainable development at a peninsular town. (Paper prepared for ACCS 2011: the Asian Conference on Cultural Studies 2011. 23-25 March …

Gezgin, U. B. (2010). Spatial identity formation, tourism and sustainable development at a peninsular town. (Paper prepared for ACCS 2011: the Asian Conference on Cultural Studies 2011. 23-25 March 2011,Osaka, Japan.)

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  • 1. Spatial Identity Formation, Tourismand Sustainable Development At A Peninsular Town Dr. Ulas Basar Gezgin Economics lecturer E-mail: ulasbasar@gmail.com
  • 2. • Gezgin, U. B. (2010). Spatial identity formation, tourism and sustainable development at a peninsular town. (Paper prepared for ACCS 2011: the Asian Conference on Cultural Studies 2011. 23-25 March 2011,Osaka, Japan.) spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 2 sustainable development
  • 3. Contents• 1. Vung Tau: Geographical, Economic and Social Background• 2. Research Questions• 3. Findings of the Site Visits and Fieldwork• 4. Discussion of Spatial Identity and Sustainability Issues for the Future of Vung Tau• 5. Conclusions and Recommendations• 6. References spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 3 sustainable development
  • 4. Abstract• There are inherent links between urban planning, economic development and tourism. Tourism is a common path to economic development in some cities, and usually urban planners are asked to form a spatial identity for the city to promote distinctiveness of the location. In this paper, urban design and public spaces of Vung Tau which is a peninsular touristic town that is 120 km to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam are analyzed, and a strategic planning vision for local identity building is developed. Basic information, industries, geography and tourist attractions are presented as a background to proposals. Urban structure, transportation infrastructure, social infrastructure, accessibility, urban legibility, identity, character, public spaces etc are discussed. Urban planning observations have been shared. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 4 sustainable development
  • 5. Abstract• After an inventory of landmarks, touristic activities and recent projects, planning tasks for the future are elaborated. Finally, some proposals are made to build a distinct identity for the town. This research is based on site visits and field work by the author. Since research on Vung Tau is almost nil, this work can contribute to the relevant academic research areas as well as municipal services. In that sense, this paper is written to be a seminal work for further research in the locality as well as for future urban development projects. A sustainable development framework has been endorsed throughout the paper. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 5 sustainable development
  • 6. Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City and Vung Tau (Source: Google Earth) spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 6 sustainable development
  • 7. Ho Chi Minh City and Vung Tau (Source: Google Earth) spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 7 sustainable development
  • 8. Vung Tau (Source: Google Earth) spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 8 sustainable development
  • 9. Vung Tau Tourist Map (Source: http://vungtau-city.com/?page_id=13 ) spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 9 sustainable development
  • 10. 1. Vung Tau: Geographical, Economic and Social Background• VT is a peninsular touristic town of Vietnam. It is 120 km. south of Ho Chi Minh City.• It is 993 km far from Bangkok, 1033 km far from Kuala Lumpur and 1099 km far from Singapore.• As a peninsular town, it is surrounded from 3 sides by South China Sea.• As a tropical resort (climate: moderate tropical monsoon), it is open to tourism at all the times of the year.• Its area is 178 km2 and it is population is nearly 250,000 (2004).• Its average temperature is 26oC and average rainfall is 1200 mm.• It has two ‘mountains’: Big Mountain and Small Mountain.• The shape of these twin mountains is considered to resemble a dragon swimming in the sea by the local people.• Big Mountain is 250 meters high with an area of 7 million m2, while Small Mountain is 170 meters high with an area of 4 million m2 (VCCT, 2011). spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 10 sustainable development
  • 11. 1. Vung Tau: Geographical, Economic and Social Background• The town is connected to Ho Chi Minh City• by Highway 51, Highway 52 and Saigon-Vung Tau Highway.• It takes 2-3 hours to go from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau by highway.• The town is also connected to Ho Chi Minh City by water.• Hydrofoil takes 2-3 hours from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau (VCCT, 2011). spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 11 sustainable development
  • 12. 2. Research Questions• Q1) Is the tourism development in Vung Tau sustainable? If yes, in what ways compared to other touristic cities of the world with similar levels of population, area, density etc? If it is successful, can it be replicated in other Vietnamese and/or Southeast Asian cities? If not, what may be urban planning recommendations?• Q2) Is Vung Tau ready for the future challenges of city planning?• Q3) Is Vung Tau globally competitive enough as a touristic city or as a eco city? If not, what can be done?• Q4) Can Vung Tau be planned as an art city in the future or a fishing city?• Q5) Which points should be considered, if Strategic Environmental Assessment of Vung Tau would be prepared? spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 12 sustainable development
  • 13. 3. Findings of the Site Visits and Fieldwork: Spatial Identity• The site visits have taken place on 15-16 September 2007; 9-10 December 2007; 10 January 2010; and 2-4 October 2010.• (To be continued.) spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 13 sustainable development
  • 14. 3.1. Two Faces of the City: Ferry Station vs. Fishing Village• The hydrofoil stops at the ferry station. This is the sea entrance of the town.• On the other hand, the harbor is behind, and it looks totally different.• For one thing, it is full of smell of dried fish. It retains the fishing village character. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 14 sustainable development
  • 15. 3.2. Traditional Market• Traditional market is mainly for fruits and vegetables. The market is roofed. It is not very well known by international tourists. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 15 sustainable development
  • 16. 3.3. Colonial Structures• Vung Tau was called as ‘Cape Saint Jacques’ under French colonial government (1859-1954).• Some colonial buildings survived from that era.• Most famous of these is the White Villa (Bach Dinh) which was built by the French governor of Indochina who later served as the president of France Paul Doumer. The villa was built on the former site of a Vietnamese fortress on Big Mountain. It also hosts an exhibition of shipwreck ceramics collected offshore of Vung Tau (Tram, 2008). spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 16 sustainable development
  • 17. 3.4. Landmarks• 3.4.1. Christ of Vung Tau• This statue sometimes also called as ‘Statue of Jesus Christ with outstretched arms’ is a statue on top of Small Mountain. It has balconies on its arms for sight-viewing. By its 28 meters of height, it is the largest sculpture in South Vietnam. It was built in 1971 (Wikitravel, 2011).• 3.4.2. Vung Tau Lighthouse• The lighthouse is on the top of Small Mountain. It was built in 1865, rebuilt in 1885 and in 1913. It is 170 meters above the sea level. Its light can be seen from a distance of 56 km. at the sea (TNN, 2008a).• 3.4.3. Small Mountain (Nui Nho) and Big Mountain (Nui Lon)• As stated in the beginning, they are the main elevations in Vung Tau. Small Mountain was more accessible than Big Mountain, as tourists could visit Lighthouse and the Christ of Vung Tau. But with the opening of Sky Park on Big Mountain, more tourists visit Big Mountain. However, access to Big Mountain is via cable car. Thus, it is low-impact development. Small Mountain and Big Mountain will be connected by cable car. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 17 sustainable development
  • 18. 3.4. Landmarks• 3.4.4. Martyr’s Memorial (Lovers Area)• This area is the cemetery of the Vietnam-American war martyrs.• A memorial structure with Vietnam flag stands here. Since it is a little bit far from the center, it is also considered to be as a retreat for lovers. That is why it is also called ‘Lovers Area’.• 3.4.5. Ferry Boat Station• As stated before, this is the marine gateway to the town.• 3.4.6. The Port• As stated before, this is the less visible backyard of the town.• 3.4.7. Imperial Plaza• This is a 4-level plaza that has a supermarket, clothes shops, a food court and a seaview seafood restaurant at the top. The project started in 2004 and the plaza was opened in 2007. It comprises an area of 7,000 m2 (Son, 2007). spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 18 sustainable development
  • 19. 3.5. Sky Park• Sky Park (Cloud Lake Cultural and Ecotourism Park) has been opened in Big Mountain in 2010. Access to the park is by cable car only. Cable car is quite rare in Vietnam. As of 2010, they are only operating in Dalat and Ba Na (Danang). Ba Na Cable Car offers the world’s longest nonstop cable car ride (5,042 meters) which takes 15 minutes. It has also the longest distance from the terminals in the world (nearly 1,300 meters) (Huu, 2009). The cable car at Vung Tau is 201 meters above the sea level (Long, 2010a). spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 19 sustainable development
  • 20. Map of Sky Park, Big Mountain, VT.7/10/2011 20 Source: Vung Tau Cable Car Tourism Company. http://www.vcct.com.vn
  • 21. 3.5. Sky Park• According to the official brochure and map of the operating company for the Sky Park, Vung Tau, the following are the components of the park area:• Buffalo Island, Yacht, Fishing Club, Parking Lot, Station No.1, Starfish Restaurant, Station No. 2, Uncle Ho Garden, Sightseeing Car, Mountain God Temple, Blockhouse, Caribbean Pine Trees Forest, Chapel, Sunrise Restaurant, Tien Sa Restaurant, Peacock Garden, Lagerstormia Forest, Roundabout, Center Restaurant, Children’s World, Ostrich Garden, Outdoor Stage, Viba- Historical Monument, Cloud Lake Restaurant, Upper Lake, Lower Lake, Waterfall, Cherry Blossom, Maitreya Buddha, Forest for Picnic, Bamboo Forest, Discovery Road, Picnic and Camping Area, X- Games Area, Electric Train, Sliding Car, and Outdoor Festival Area (VCCT, 2011). spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 21 sustainable development
  • 22. 3.5. Sky Park• Big Mountain top was opened to construction by French colonial government, as they built a house on the top of the mountain in 1940. The house is now part of the park. Buffalo Island is on reclaimed land and it is mainly for souvenir photos. Next to that is the marina for the yachts. The waterfall has an height of 9 meters and a bridge is connecting two sides of the lake. The Buddha sculpture is 30 meters tall.• Only bicycles and electric cars are allowed in the park. This is highly unusual for Vietnam, as the country has the highest motorbike per capita in the world.• The park offers overnight camping service as well (VCCT, 2011). spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 22 sustainable development
  • 23. 4. Discussion of Spatial Identity and Sustainability Issues for the Future of Vung Tau• 4.1. Planning Tasks for the Future• 4.1.1. High-rise Buildings• One problem for the future spatial identity of the town is the high-rise development. The city image can’t be taken for granted. There should be clear regulations setting the height limits. Otherwise, the town will lose its distinctive image and will be like any other city.• 4.1.2. Resettlement and Expansion• The view from Big Mountain shows that the central areas are heavily built. ‘Modern’ structures stand together with more ‘traditional’ structures. As there will be more investment in the area, there will be more pressure on ‘traditional’ structures. The local government will face a choice: Should they let ‘traditional’ structures fade away and replaced by ‘modern’ structure or should they protect the architectural fabric of the area? This choice will be vital for the preservation of the spatial image of the area.• 4.1.3. More Tourists (Foreigners)• It is highly likely that due to the new investments in the town such as cable cars connecting Big Mountain and Small Mountain, and due to more ad campaigns for tourists and especially for foreigners, there will be more tourists and especially foreign tourists visiting the town. The challenge is whether the town has sufficient physical and social infrastructure to immerse them all. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 23 sustainable development
  • 24. 4. Discussion of Spatial Identity and Sustainability Issues for the Future of Vung Tau• 4.1.4. Ownership Structure (Monopolizing the Beaches)• Some parts of the town have been turned into gated communities by private beaches. Should this trend be stopped or continued to attract wealthier visitors? This is another dilemma faced by the local government.• 4.1.5. Touristic Activity Planning• One point that would make the town attractive would be to find some activities that may be interesting for tourists. One option is turning the town into a fishing village where the tourists can learn how to sail, fish, cook fish, identify different kind of fish etc. The city can also use the theme of piracy to attract more tourists by theme parks, museums and restaurants. In that sense, the ferry station is quite ordinary. Based on the image model of the town, a fisherman or a pirate or a mermaid sculpture can welcome visitors.• 4.1.6. The Gravity of the City Center vs. the Front Beach (Park)• The front beach (park) located next to the ferry station is the main public space, while the town center is in the inner areas. One point to consider is how would this serve as an advantage or disadvantage for the town planning in the future, as the population and number of visitors would expand. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 24 sustainable development
  • 25. 4. Discussion of Spatial Identity and Sustainability Issues for the Future of Vung Tau• 4.1.7. Class-structured Multiple City Centers and Public Spaces• While the marine gateway area continues to serve as the main public space for all walks of life, the center is shifting to the private beaches and plaza area for people of higher SES. The future implications of this differentiation need to be considered.• 4.1.8. Competition with Domestic Destinations (Mui Ne, Nha Trang etc.) as well as International Destinations (e.g. Thailand)• If Vung Tau wants to attract more visitors, the competing destinations should be studied to find out how and why they attract tourists.• 4.1.9. Strengthening the Sense of Community for Vung Tau Residents• The sense of community is vital for the town, as residents who have the sense of community would keep it clean and tidy.• 4.1.10. Constructing an Identity for Vung Tau: Fishing City and Art City• To build a distinct identity for the town, fishing city model and art city model can be considered. A few fine arts activities are taking place in the town. One of them was an installation exhibition that displayed works of French and Vietnamese artists in 2009 (Nguyen, 2009). Artists can be encouraged to exhibit or perform their works, to follow an art city model. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 25 sustainable development
  • 26. 4.1.11. More Activities Other than Shopping• Visitors can shop in any city, but there are some activities that can be done only in one particular locality. The local government should find out which ones they are for Vung Tau. One way for ‘distinctive activity services’ is international festivals.• Vung Tau Food and Wine Festival that took place on 21-25 July 2010 is a good example of this. More than 80 countries and territories and 63 provinces of Vietnam were represented in the festival (TNN, 2010a). Over 400,000 visitors were estimated to visit the festival (TNN, 2010b). This number is huge, if we consider the fact that Vung Tau’s population is 250,000.• Another good example is the International Kite Festival that took place on 25-29 March 2009 and 2010 (Kim, 2009; Long, 2010b; Nga, 2009). The first festival was the first of its kind in Vietnam. 20,000 tourists attended the event in which 300 kites of 115 artisans from 17 nations and territories were “on the air” (Nga, 2009). Nearly 104 artisans from 24 countries joined the second festival and there were around 40,000 spectators (Long, 2010b). Flute kite which is a kite that can produce music while flying is a peculiarity of Vietnam (VNS, 2010), and this can be promoted in Vung Tau festivals. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 26 sustainable development
  • 27. 4.1.11. More Activities Other than Shopping• A third good example is the tourism festival which was opened by fires of 200-years-old cannons in the town in 2007 (TNN, 2007). An earlier attempt in this direction was Sea Festival 2006 which had activities such as parachuting, canoeing, kite flying etc. It was estimated to attract 200,000 visitors (TNN, 2006). The town also hosted World Youth Chess Championship in 2008 (Phuong, 2008) which is a good way for promotion. In addition to these, one project that can make Vung Tau culturally attractive would be to organize a festival of ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’ which would contribute to intercultural understanding of the world cultures. The list of masterpieces is available on UNESCO website (UNESCO, 2010). Another market segment to be targeted may be conference tourism. Vung Tau can be a good destination for international conferences. Medical tourism could have been an option, as it was initiated by a medical company in Vung Tau in 2007 (Minh & Toan, 2007); but given the current level of medicine in the country in a comparative perspective, it is not a viable option, although it may still attract some domestic medical tourists. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 27 sustainable development
  • 28. 4.2. Green and Blue Planning of Vung Tau for Sustainability• The city view shows that green areas are limited except the mountains.• Urban agriculture policies such as vertical agriculture and rooftop agriculture can be considered.• As the future expansion would put more pressure on the coasts, the future challenges should be identified and addressed. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 28 sustainable development
  • 29. Problems caused by Coastal Tourism• P1) “Pollution by waste water, garbage, heating, noise and traffic emissions”;• P2) “Encroachment of buildings, facilities and roads close to the coastline”;• P3) “Beach erosion due to building, dune removal and dredging”;• P4) “Excessive use of natural areas”;• P5) “Destruction of natural areas to accommodate tourism or other needs”;• P6) “Inter-sectorial competition and conflict over (marine and terrestrial) space”;• P7) “Exclusion of local communities from any role of significance in decision- making”;• P8) “The loss of natural and architectural heritage in the face of rapid expansion”;• P9) “Strain on public utilities and facilities”;• P10) “Displacement of local population”;• P11) “Creation of restricted exclusive zones that are off-limits to the local people”;• P12) “Loss of business by local enterprises as all-inclusive resorts supplies all the needs of their guests” (UNCSD NGO, 1999, p.13). spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 29 sustainable development
  • 30. Recommendations by UNCSD NGO (1999)• “- Strict environmental standards for solid, liquid and gaseous waste emissions;• - Taking the integrity of coastal values and resources into account;• - Enhancement of public transport infrastructure (train, boat, bike, bus);• - Locally adapted styles and maximum height/size limit for facilities;• - Setting of local/regional carrying capacities on a case-by-case basis;• - Limits to sale of property to foreigners;• - Maintenance of public access to the coastal strip;• - Safeguarding cultural values and customary uses” (p.13). spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 30 sustainable development
  • 31. Instruments to Solve the Problems• EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment)• - Introducing environmental management (according to ISO 14.000 or the European EMAS Initiative);• - Increasing cultural and nature awareness of guests through interactions with local initiatives, guided nature walks, museums, etc.;• - Integrating the local economy by giving priority to local produce (e.g. fish, fruit, vegetables,• furniture, and building materials)”• (UNCSD NGO, 1999, p.14). spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 31 sustainable development
  • 32. Questions for the Future of Vung Tau• Q1) What are the assets and risks of Vung Tau as a tourism destination?• SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threat s) analysis and other forecasting tools can be used to answer this question. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 32 sustainable development
  • 33. Questions for the Future of Vung Tau• Q2) What is the carrying capacity of the town and how this capacity can be integrated with land use planning?• One significant part of this carrying capacity is waste management. ICLEI (1999) states that “*t+ourism in natural areas, euphemistically called “eco-tourism,” can be a major source of degradation of local ecological, economic and social systems. The intrusion of large numbers of• foreigners with high-consumption and high-waste habits into natural areas, or into towns with inadequate waste management infrastructure, can produce changes to those natural areas at a rate that is far greater than imposed by local residents” (p.4). spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 33 sustainable development
  • 34. Questions for the Future of Vung Tau• Q2) What is the carrying capacity of the town and how this capacity can be integrated with land use planning?• In that sense, waste-related planning tasks for the town are the identification of current amount and rate of waste; current waste management practices (3R: Reduce-Reuse-Recycle); the rate of waste in peak season; an inspection of the current status of industrial waste management and coastal waste management; the forecasting of waste for the future; establishment of wastewater and solid waste facilities; installation of separate bins for waste materials; introduction of Product Life Cycle Analysis for the touristic enterprises and industries etc. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 34 sustainable development
  • 35. Questions for the Future of Vung Tau• Q2) What is the carrying capacity of the town and how this capacity can be integrated with land use planning?• Wastewater management is especially critical: Dinh River (Song Dinh) which flows to the sea at the border of Vung Tau and neighboring Ba Ria is polluted due to industrial activity. Fish and shrimps are dying. The identified reason is the wastewater from seafood processing factories (TNN, 2008b). 3 seafood processors have been suspended in 2009 for discharging toxic wastewater without treatment (Long, 2009a). Unfortunately, they are not the only ones violating the environmental regulations in the vicinity; there are many others. In the same year, another company was found to discharge hundred thousand liters of wastewater per day into Dinh River by secret underground pipes (Long, 2009b). Consumption due to touristic activity in Vung Tau as well as urban demand in nearby Ho Chi Minh City which has the highest population of the country are driving up the production of seafood and other food items. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 35 sustainable development
  • 36. Questions for the Future of Vung Tau• Q3) How to develop a system of EIA for the existing and new projects?• This is important for promotion of green practices in tourism sector. The hotels and resorts can be asked to submit their waste management plans and energy saving practices among some other aspects.• This is also relevant to the oil extraction and fishing-related industries. A disaster like BP oil disaster of Mexico Gulf (2010) would be very unfortunate. The standards can be upgraded if they are outdated. On the other hand, these efforts have to be integrated with the Strategic Environmental Assessment of the town, region and the country.• This caution is not unrealistic: As a result of a tanker accident, nearly 400 tons of oil spilled into the sea in Vung Tau in 2010 (Long, 2010c). In an earlier case, oil spill with an unidentified source was found to kill the shrimps being bred at sea in the town (Long, 2007). In 2008, a tanker was capsized with a load of 1,700 tons of oil (Long, 2008; TNN, 2008c). The nature will not have the capacity for more disasters like this. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 36 sustainable development
  • 37. Questions for the Future of Vung Tau• Q4) What are tourist numbers for the town, when is the peak season and how tourist numbers can be managed for sustainability?• This information is necessary for strategic planning.• spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 37 sustainable development
  • 38. Questions for the Future of Vung Tau• Q5) How can accessibility (by land, sea and air) be improved?• Currently, the main modes of transport from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau are by bus or by hydrofoil. As of 2010, hydrofoil ticket is 10 USD (one-way). Bus is cheaper, but takes longer.• More transportation options can be considered.• Secondly, the sea route from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau is mangrove area. The view and the natural atmosphere are impressive. A tour can be started for ecotourism that would spend some time in mangrove areas and stop at Vung Tau as the final destination. The revenue can be used to protect the area and plant more mangroves. As the marine route will be used for this purpose and not the land route, the environmental impact will be lower. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 38 sustainable development
  • 39. Questions for the Future of Vung Tau• Q6) Which green and blue areas need protection? Do we need special zoning policies for them?• A detailed analysis is necessary. The biodiversity of the green and blue areas should be determined by ecological research. For example,• which plant species, bird species, mammals etc live in green areas and which fish species live in blue areas?• Are there endemic species and species under threat?• How are the urban development and biodiversity in the town related?• What are the urban threats to biodiversity in the town?• These questions should be answered for biodiversity conservation as a step towards sustainable development of the town. Another ecological issue to be considered is the expected effects of climate change. As Vung Tau is a coastal town with strong tides, climate change may lead to huge losses in the future, if necessary measures would not be taken. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 39 sustainable development
  • 40. Questions for the Future of Vung Tau• Q7) How can environmental impacts of tourism be monitored by sustainability indicators in terms of economic, social an ecological sustainability? Which indicators can be used for that purpose?• Various internationally recognized standards can be used for that purpose. These standards and indicators can be discussed in a separate paper. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 40 sustainable development
  • 41. Questions for the Future of Vung Tau• Q8) How can different departments of government and other stakeholders can be coordinated for sustainable tourism?• To answer this question, stakeholder analysis is necessary.• spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 41 sustainable development
  • 42. Questions for the Future of Vung Tau• Q9) In what forms could local capacity building activities take place? How can a public participation framework for sustainable tourism be implemented?• These will be based on the picture drawn by the stakeholder analysis.• spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 42 sustainable development
  • 43. Questions for the Future of Vung Tau• Q10) How can tourists be informed about eco- friendly practices?• Information leaflets at ferry station, bus station, hotels and touristic agencies can be useful.• A website can be established for ‘Green Vung Tau’. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 43 sustainable development
  • 44. Questions for the Future of Vung Tau• Q11) How can eco-efficient and eco-friendly practices be enforced for touristic enterprises?• The best practices from different parts of the world and Southeast Asian region can be compiled and selectively applied.• This needs a literature review in a separate paper. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 44 sustainable development
  • 45. Questions for the Future of Vung Tau• Q12) How can hinterland development and coastal development be integrated in a form of tourism master plan or strategic plan?• It may be necessary to propose other dimensions of sustainability to answer this question: Allen (2009) adds physical and political sustainability onto the well- known sustainability triangle, ie economic, social, and ecological (environmental) sustainability.• She states that “*t+he sustainability of the built environment concerns the capacity of an intervention to enhance the liveability of buildings and urban infrastructures for ‘all’ city dwellers without damaging or disrupting the urban region environment. It also includes a concern for the efficiency of the built environment to support the local economy” (p.2).• Although this form of sustainability is not always discussed, it is obvious that it concerns heritage issues, relocation and urban upgrading projects which involve destruction and/or renovation of the building stock of the cities. Secondly, political sustainability involves governance and public participation which are critical for integration of hinterland and coastal development. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 45 sustainable development
  • 46. Questions for the Future of Vung Tau• Q12) How can hinterland development and coastal development be integrated in a form of tourism master plan or strategic plan?• These two forms of sustainability should be taken into account for integrative frameworks of planning, along with the very-well known sustainability triangle.• In this context, ICLEI (2001) states that “*p+rivate property titles do not recognise the concepts of ecological integrity or social heritage. Excessive reliance upon private property ownership as a guide in development has in fact contributed to the deterioration of public goods” (p.4).• This remark is very important for the integration of hinterland development and coastal development. Provision of public goods such as access to beaches and coasts should be secured. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 46 sustainable development
  • 47. 5. Conclusions and Recommendations• Due to space limitations, only a portion of the findings of the fieldwork and site visits is presented in this paper. (The interested can contact the researcher for more information.)• As a result, not all the questions raised under the section of Research Questions have been answered in this paper, although they will be answered elsewhere.• Nevertheless, even without the full-fledged availability of the findings, the following conclusions and recommendations can be listed to conclude the paper: spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 47 sustainable development
  • 48. 5. Conclusions and Recommendations• - For sustainability assessment, baseline data on various aspects of sustainability such as social, economical and ecological carrying capacities, the number of visitors, waste etc. should be collected; and these data should be easily accessible by the planning professionals.• - Oil spills are significant threats for the urban ecology. More regulations are necessary for the tankers and oil industry.• - An urban ecology survey is necessary which will identify the species of the town.• - Polluting industries in the nearby rivers which flow to Vung Tau beaches should be suspended and severely punished. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 48 sustainable development
  • 49. 5. Conclusions and Recommendations• - Factories and tourism enterprises should submit their wastewater and solid waste treatment plans as part of the licensing and permit procedure.• - More cultural and art events can be promoted; but the carrying capacities should be kept in mind.• - A special plan is necessary for coastal zones which would take into account the future urban expansion and climate-change-related events.• - A participatory planning framework should be adopted that would not exclude any stakeholder.• - More international expert input is necessary to draw on good practices elsewhere. spatial identity formation, tourism &7/10/2011 49 sustainable development

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