Mergui Archipelago News : 17. June. Four identified as potential developer for Lampi Island Ecotourism Resort developers according to Ministry of Forestry, Myanmar.
The 4000-acre Wa-Ale island or Blunt Island is at the north western tip of Lampi island and it falls in the area of Marine National Park.
The areas assigned for the Ecotourism resort is a bit far from fresh water sources and it will take at least 10 hours by boat from Kawthaung – the nearest immigration check point for tourist entry from Thailand. The accessibility to the islands of Mergui Archipelago has been getting harder in the last year when an official who is very efficient was removed due to a case of Thai national found with bullets at Yangon Airport. Many government departments in Kawthaung can not coordinate the documentation of tourist boats. “We had to wait 6 hours to clear from the port of Victoria Point” said a skipper referring to the town in its old name. The number of tourist arrival dwindle from a mere 2000 per year to 1800 per year. However land grabbing is on the rise and almost all beautiful islands near Lampi are all taken. Those who have tried to get a piece of land on most beautiful islands like Great Swington are asked to find another island elsewhere. Of the 800 islands in the Mergui Archipelago, about 25 islands are fit for resort but the developer must adhere to strict rules. The islands has almost no inhabitant and they are natural flora and fauna are well preserved except fishing. Therefore it is very important that responsible developer who understands the Environment Impacts and Social Impacts of a tourism development takes responsible measures not to disturb the existing state.
According to 7Day Daily there were 22 applicants who purchased tenderdoucments but only 4 actually applied and the highest bidder for the time being is Amata. Only one successful applicant will have the permit to start ecolodge-type bunglows with primary objective to survey the Lampi National Park.