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The potential for development of eco-tourism in Chi Lăng Nam Stork Island


   Chi Lăng Nam Stock Island is located in Chi Lăng Nam Commune, Thanh Mien District, with an area of 31.67 ha, with about 16,000 storks and 6,000 bitterns, among which, there are 9 types of storks: White, Lua, Bo, Duoi, Black, Huong, Nghenh, Ngang, Diec; and blue, grey, star back bitterns. Located in the middle of the vast An Duong lake and surrounded by many pagodas and temples in the area, the island has a great potential to develop eco-tourism.

Tourists to Stock Island

   To develop Stock Island eco-tourism, in 2012, the People’s Committee of Hai Duong province issued Decision No. 2009/QD-UBND approving the Scheme of developing model of community- based tourism development in Chi Lăng Nam Stock Island, Thanh Mien district until 2020. In particular, the basic orientation of the Scheme focuses on the development of eco-tourism model in the Stock Island and the development of additional tourism sites. The system of tourism facilities in the Stock Island is built in a synchronous and qualified manner such as: home-stay; community yard to organize cultural, entertainment, and sports activities; means of transportation for tourists and other services to facilitate tourists to visit and participate in the farmer and community activities. The total estimated budget for implementing the Scheme is over VND 15 billion. 

   According to the Scheme, the model of community - based tourism in the Stock Island is divided into 2 separate sections that interact with each other. Stock Island area for visiting tourists includes An Duong Lake, Trieu Duong Lake and other works: management center, display house, car park, tourist area... The main tourism activities for visitors are to: introduction to biodiversity conservation activities and bird species in exhibition room; visits to island; bird - watching; participation in entertainment activities on the island such as: Fishing and boat- rowing. In addition, more community tourism routes shall be developed in Chi Lăng Nam commune, including: Local houses - Stock Island - An Duong pagoda - Trieu Duong temple - Giao market  - Hoi Yen dry pancake trade village, Trieu Trang temple, pagoda; tourism connecting routes between Stock Island and spots of Ninh Giang district includes: Khuc Thua Du Temple - Hong Phong Water Puppetry, Bo Duong Pagoda - Tranh Temple.

   Stock Island was officially recognized as a National Monument for natural beauty of Hai Duong province in 2014, marking the historical milestone for the development of tourism in the area. Accordingly, Thanh Mien District People's Committee has established two management boards (MB): Stock Island tourism and ecological conservation project is chaired by the Vice Chairman of the District People’s Committee, the relevant divisions and units as members to manage all activities related to tourist area; for the Stock Island National Monument in Chi Lang Nam commune, leaders of communal People's Council, People's Committee, Fatherland Front and other agencies and unions directly manage the construction and exploitation activities in the area. At the same time, a number of works in the Stock Island including Nam Pagoda, Center for Environmental Education, pagoda area, banyan tree, boat station... are invested for upgrading. In addition, the People’s Committee of Chi Lăng Nam commune consolidates the organization, builds the operating regulations of the service team, rearranges exhibition areas and ensures environmental hygiene in the Stock Island tourist area; deploys the signing of commitments with the An Duong village households on the implementation of the regulations of tourist area management of the District People's Committee...

   Thanks to these above efforts, tourists to Stock Island has increased from 30,000 visits (2011) to 45,000 (2015). The domestic market is mainly tourists in the province and the provinces of Hung Yen, Hanoi, Hai Phong... In the 2012 - 2015 period, according to the data of Stock Island Management Board, the revenue from entry ticket collection, boating and vehicle keeping is about VND 400 million per year; the revenue of the households doing business in catering, accommodation and sales of souvenirs is estimated at over VND 1 billion. Although the number of visitors as well as revenue is still limited, this is a positive sign for the development of eco-tourism products.

Chi Lăng Nam Stock Island landscape 

   Stock Island is newly exploited tourist area with primitive landscape, so the attraction of investors has many difficulties. Along with that, the management of the tourist area is not effective; the staff of tourist service lacks in number and has weak knowledge of tourism development; tourism planning and management are limited; the Stock Island has not been reinforced with embankment, so the island is increasingly eroded with shrinking area in size and poorly growing islander plants, while the number of storks and bitterns is increasing.

   Eco-tourism potential in Stock Island is very high due to its favorable location, developed socio-economic conditions, rich and diversified tourism resources. In the coming time, to further the development of eco-tourism in the Stock Island, authorities of Thanh Mien district need to exploit cultural and historical values to design different tours; at the same time, to promote and educate all levels, sectors and people for awareness raising of economic tourism industry. Besides, to promote the dynamics, actively explore and call for socialized funding, invest effectively in exploiting the existing potentials, considering it as an effective breakthrough to develop Stock Island eco-tourism to make the best use of the potential and advantages, and to create a focus and spill-over effects.

Phương Lê
Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology

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