Township Lawmaker Accuses Hotels of Spoiling Ngapali’s Natural Beauty

By Min Aung Khine 2 May 2019

SITTWE—A proposal was submitted on Monday to take legal action against hotels encroaching on Ngapali Beach, in the Thandwe region of southern Rakhine State.

Thandwe Township lawmaker Nai Kyue Aye submitted the proposal, saying that nine beachfront hotels—Aureum Palace Hotel, Jasmine Hotel, Amazing Hotel, Ngapali Paradise Hotel, Hilton Hotel, PVI Hotel, BT Bay Hotel, Memento Hotel and Jade Marina Hotel—have encroached on the sand area on the ocean side of their properties.

Those hotels, he said, have spoiled the natural beauty of the beach by constructing swimming pools, retaining walls, restaurants and security guard posts on the beach next to their hotels detracting from the beach’s beauty.

In 2016, Ngapali was voted the top beach destination in Asia in TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards. Now, it is not even in TripAdvisor’s list of top 25 beaches in the world.

According to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism guidelines on coastal beach resort areas, construction sites must be 50 meters back from the high-tide mark, must avoid building walls or fences that block views of the beach and must not use beach sand.

Of the nine hotels that have encroached on the beach, the Thandwe Township municipality has filed a lawsuit only against the Aureum Hotel, said the lawmaker.

The Rakhine State parliament has approved discussing Nai Kyue Aye’s proposal. Rakhine State minister for planning and finance U Kyaw Aye Thein said he would make a field inspection this week.

Rakhine State Parliament Speaker U San Kyaw Hla called for a speedy investigation into the case.

According to the Thandwe branch of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Ngapali has 35 licensed hotels and guesthouses providing at least 1,300 rooms to tourists. There are also dozens of unlicensed hotels.