Before the crowds begin descending on the sea shore this coming dry season, local activists are calling on the government to help manage tourism and tourism infrastructure at a Mon State beach.Kabyar Wa Beach in southern Ye township has become an increasingly popular destination, especially for domestic tourism, according to local tour operators. In response to the visitor influx, beachside shops and restaurants have cropped up, as have boat and motorcycle rental shops. Trash has become an increasing environmental concern.
“[The beach] has received many visitors. Even though it has become more developed, it’s still not systematically managed yet. The traditional [shops] of the local residents are in disorder,” said U Aung Naing Win, secretary of Ye township’s social services office.
“The state government should start to manage the beach before peak season in order to keep it clean,” he added.
Located just 45-minutes outside of Ye town, Kabyar Wa Beach is increasingly eyed as the next Ngwesaung or Ngapali. Aurum Company Limited from Yangon has even entered into discussions over a proposed US$12 million beach resort, although negotiations with the previous government were reportedly waylaid by a land ownership dispute.
Ko Tun Linn Aung, operation manager from Flower Land Travels & Tour, runs a tour package to the beach.
“[Kabyar Wa Beach] first became popular online,” he said. “Among the tour programs we have arranged, this one is the most popular among the guests. When we shared [photos of the beach on Facebook], we received many likes and comments. I believe it will attract more visitors in the future. It has a good prospect.”
Local officials say they are doing what they can to try to preserve the beach, but have called for backup from the government.
“We have established the Kabyar Wa Beach Beautification and Natural Environment Conservation Group,” said U Tin Nyunt, Ye township administrator. “We submitted this group to the government [for official approval] via the district [administration]. If it is approved, the group will protect the natural resources of the beach. It will make sure visitors neatly dump their food and trash. It will protect the visitors from harm and it will ensure the shops are set up in an organized way so that the public can have a peaceful place to relax.”