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Responsible travel gets more popular to Vietnamese

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 days.

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 activities.

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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