Officials of Thue Thien Hue are awaiting permission to build a resort complex that would include a cable car running through a national park from the construction ministry.
The VND1.5 trillion ($66 million) project was approved by the province in 2014, and a partly foreign-run investor has already been selected for the project.
It is expected to cover 300 hectares (741 acres) inside Bach Ma National Park.
The system “will not interfere with the natural forest”, said by Hoang Viet Trung, the deputy director of the province’s investment department. One stop at the top of a waterfall is included in the plans for the cable car.
Bach Ma National Park, located one-hour drive to the southeast of Hue, was established in 1991 and covers more than 37,000 hectares. The park’s biodiversity is considered one of the richest in Vietnam and the region.
Many people argue that the country is sacrificing nature for tourism after cable cars have become a controversial subject in Vietnam.
An online petition was signed by thousands of people in order to opposing the construction of a cable car system into Son Doong, the world’s largest cave, in the central province of Quang Binh. As the pressure intensified, local authorities were forced to deny rumors of the plan.
Back in October 2014, the province also received widespread opposition when it announced plans to allow a company to build a $212-million gondola lift into Son Doong, prompting the government to ask the province to scrap the project.
No construction will take place in the entire Phong Nha-Ke Bang cave system until at least 2030, as the government has guaranteed.
The future of the caves after that is unknown, but many other Vietnamese tourist sites, including the world-famous Ha Long Bay and the country’s highest peak Fansipan, are already criss-crossed by cables cars.0