14th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
The majestic and mysterious Halong Bay, Vietnam
Every day, thousands of tourists visit this UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site to enjoy its splendid beauty. The result of increasing tourism, combined with widespread rise in manufacturing, mining, and aquaculture industries, is progressively straining the bay’s environmental health. Studies by local and international NGOs and governmental agencies have found that the waste from the hundreds of tourist boats is actually curbing the appeal of this once pristine site. Although a very complex problem with no simple answers, increasing tourism with little regard for natural and cultural values can spur an environmental and heritage disaster in the very places it is aiming to promote.
Check the credentials of the tourist operators and do your research before you buy your tickets. We all need to be aware of impact we have in the communities we visit.
© Flora Saperstein.
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||July 1, 2016, 12:07 p.m.