Thursday, April 12, 2012

Responsible travel gets more popular to Vietnamese | Look At Vietnam

Responsible travel gets more popular to Vietnamese

April 12, 2012
LookAtVietnam – The concept “responsible travel” has become more popular to
Vietnamese people, though this kind of tourism has just existed in a small
community and in few localities.

Responsible travel is a kind of tourism that binds businesses and the local
communities together which build the tourism products associated with the
environment protection, help local residents exploit tourism potentials on the
principle of mutual benefit and responsibility.
Responsible tourism has been strongly promoted to become a new tendency in the
world. Every year, the week of responsible tourism is organized on the biggest
websites of the world with the topics put on online discussions lasting seven
In Vietnam, responsible travel has also been popularized under the active
support of non-government organizations, such as The Netherlands Development
Organization, the European Union, the International Fund for Nature Conservation
in Mekong Delta.
The message of responsible tourism has been conveyed to a part of domestic
travelers, especially young travelers. More and more travelers want their
journeys to become less invasive to the daily life of local residents and the
nature of the land where they come to, and wish to bring more benefits to the
local communities.
Travelers nowadays wish to learn more about the culture instead of simply doing
the sightseeing.
A recent survey conducted by SNV, a Dutch organization, on five tourism sites,
including Hanoi, HCM City, Hoi An, Ha Long and Hue City, shows that 97 percent
of interviewed people would agree to spend more money on a responsible tour and
bring benefits to the poor people.
The survey showed that every international travel would be ready to spend 47
dollars, if the tours comprise responsible tourism services. The figure would be
27 dollars for Vietnamese travelers. Meanwhile, there would be no limitation on
the sums of money to be spent additionally, if the tours’ main goal is charity
In some localities such as Hue and Da Nang Cities, or Hoi An ancient town,
responsible tourism groups, comprising of small and medium tourism firms have
joined forces to build up the products with high sustainability have formed up.
A lot of eco and cultural tours have been designed, including the ones to the
vegetable village of Tra Que in Hoi An, tour My Son holy land, to craft villages
and ancient villages in the ancient capital city of Hue.
However, Pham Trung Luong, Deputy Head of the Vietnam Institute for Tourism
Development, said that a lot of problems need to be settled when developing this
kind of tourism
Luong said in some localities, while local authorities have good knowledge about
providing tourism products and protecting the natural environment, travelers do
not have necessary knowledge on the issue. A recent survey by the institute at
the Phong Nha- Ke Bang Cavern showed that 70 percent of the community joins the
tourism services, but more than 72 percent of travelers have not been informed
the issues relating to the natural and socio-cultural environment.
An opposite thing is occurring in the northwestern region of the country such as
Ha Giang, Cao Bang and Son La. The localities have been attracting a lot of
trekking travelers and international tourists who have high demand for
discovering and learning about the local culture. However, the increase of the
number of tourists to the areas has created a lot of unwanted changes to the
local people’s lives.
The Khau Vai Love Market in Ha Giang province, for example, now bears some
features of the modern times, while some original beauties have been lost.
Phung Quang Anh, a tour operator, said that the impatience of local authorities
to develop local tourism and the low awareness of the sustainable tourism, may
lead to the disappearance of the special indigenous cultural features.
Source: To Quoc
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