Vietnam locals reap little from tourist boom

Vietnam locals reap little from tourist boom

Tourists crowd round local fishermen in the morning on a beach in Da Nang, Vietnam. As soon as the nets are hauled in, the visitors vanish. (Photo by Paritta Wangkiat)
Tourists crowd round local fishermen in the morning on a beach in Da Nang, Vietnam. As soon as the nets are hauled in, the visitors vanish. (Photo by Paritta Wangkiat)

Scenes of visitors crowding around a dozen local fishermen on a beach to watch them pull their fishing nets out of the water may sound strange but it has become a daily ritual in the tourist-magnet city of Danang, Vietnam, as I found out during a recent trip there.

With the rapid boom in tourism, the morning fishing routine has been transcended into something of a public event, regularly drawing crowds who gather to take pictures and make video clips of it.

And as soon as the nets are hauled, the crowd melts away. The tourists didn't seem very interested in the small baskets of tiny fish. In fact, the catches were so small that one person there told me they were dwarfed by the size of the collective catches in earlier times.

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Paritta Wangkiat

Columnist

Paritta Wangkiat is a Bangkok Post columnist.

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