Con Dao National Park attracts eco-tourism projects hinh anh 1An aerial view of Con Dao Island. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The management authority of the Con Dao National Park on the island of Con Dao in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau has agreed to lease more than 70 hectares of land to the Saigon Pearl Investment Co., Ltd for the development of an eco-tourism project.

Under the deal signed last week, there will be a genetic resource conservation centre for endangered plants, corals and turtles, and a laboratory for brown squirrel protection programme inside the eco-tourist site.  

The Saigon Pearl Investment will not trade off the national park’s environmental values and untouched beauty for economic benefits, Chairman Tran Viet Khoa said, adding that to protect the forest and marine ecosystems and wetlands is to protect tourism resources and to sustain the business.

Its tourism products will be created based on the natural ecosystem around Ong Cau Beach while the pristine natural ecosystem here will be preserved as part of the efforts to develop Con Dao as a national tourist site, Khoa added.

The project also plans to engage local workers in the provision of sustainable tourism services to boost the island district’s socio-economic growth, he further noted.

The Ba Ria-Vung Tau People’s Committee has approved a plan for the development of eco-tourism and leisure tourism in the Con Dao National Park until 2030, said Tran Dinh Hue, deputy director of the park’s management authority. More than 60 eco-tourism projects have been given in-principle approval since then and looking for investors.

Con Dao National Park attracts eco-tourism projects hinh anh 2The 16-island archipelago of Con Dao is located 180km from Vung Tau city, and about 230km southeast of Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo:

The 16-island archipelago of Con Dao is located 180km from Vung Tau city, and about 230km southeast of Ho Chi Minh City. It has a land area of nearly 6,000ha and a water surface of 14,000ha.

It is well known for beaches with white sand, deep blue water and colorful coral reefs. French colonialists and the Americans turned the island into a prison to jail Vietnamese revolutionary soldiers in wartime. The facility has attracted many local and foreign visitors in recent years.

The national park is home to 1,077 species of vascular plants and 155 species of fauna. Many bird species in Con Dao cannot be found anywhere else in Vietnam, such as the red-billed tropicbird, masked booby, and pied imperial pigeon.

Surveys conducted by the Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography have found more than 1,300 maritime fauna and flora species, including 44 in Vietnam’s Red Data Book, in the park. Con Dao is home to a small population of dugongs that are vulnerable to extinction worldwide.

The park is also an important nesting place for olive ridley sea turtles and hawksbill sea turtles, two species facing extinction threat globally.

The national park, a Ramsar site of wetlands of international importance, has more than 340 species of corals and is one of the richest and most diverse coral reefs in the country.

However, many of its reefs suffered from bleaching and died on a large scale because of rising sea temperatures in 1998, 2010 and 2016 and because of low salinity in 2005.

Many of the affected reefs could not recover naturally./.