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A proposal to launch four tours to the four central provinces which were affected by the Formosa's waste water discharge has faced opposition from the public.
Dead fish caused by waste water from Formosa Company on a beach in Quang Binh Province. Photo by Lao Dong
The Union of Science for Sustainable Tourism Development (STDe) recently proposed opening four tours to the four central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue, aiming at revitalising the tourism industry in the areas after the Formosa disaster.
The tours, which have been shared on Facebook to gather opinions and ideas from the public, will take visitors to the Vung Ang Economic Zone and three beaches to see the connection between fish and steel.
The first tour named Formosa introduces about the love between Miss Fish and Mr Steel. Visitors will be taken to a tourist site built at Deo Con Hill in the Vung Ang Economic Zone in Ha Tinh Province to see the harmonious life of the Fish and Steel family through some activities including motor racing, visiting a museum, or spending a night inside a fish-shaped hotel.
The second tour will take visitors to Hai Trach beach in Quang Binh Province to learn about the lives of local fishermen and their traditional wooden fish sculpture.
Visitors will be guided to Trieu An beach in Quang Tri Province in the third tour and Lang Co Beach in Hue on the fourth trip.
Chairman of the STDe, Nguyen Thu Hanh, said that by providing these tours they want to help boost the tourism sector again, create more jobs for local people who have been made unemployed by the Formosa incident.
However, many of the public are saying that it is not a good idea to combine fish and steel in a tourism product in the central region at this time. They said they would not support the Formosa steel production here, so they cannot support these tours.
Speaking with Dan Tri/DTiNews, economist Pham Chi Lan stressed that these Formosa tours were not suitable or even offensive to locals.
"I think that they might take the idea from those tours to the places hit by natural disasters in Japan and some other countries," Lan said. "They may see some economic opportunities from the disasters. But it is different here where the disaster was caused by human activities and the consequences have yet to be solved."
Lan said that it is not suitable to introduce the tours at the moment when many local people are still very angry with what the steel or Formosa do to their life.
"Many people are still protesting against Formosa's operation in the area," Lan explained. "Especially after recent findings showed the company's illegally dumping waste in many places in Ha Tinh Province. I'm sure that these tours will only receive opposition instead of support."