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Responsible destinations

TTH.VN - Tourism development coupled with environmental protection, conservation and promotion of local culture and ensuring long-term economic benefits for the community are the most fundamental goals of responsible tourism.

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Tourism businesses and tourists participate in picking up trash to clean up the environment

No longer new

According to Mr. Tran Viet Luc, Head of the Office for Research and Development, Department of Tourism, the concept of responsible tourism has been around for some time. Responsibility here is required of all parties involved in tourism. This includes tourists who have a responsibility with the destination they visit. They must have respect for the local culture, abide by the law and contribute to generating income for the local people. Meanwhile, the responsibilities of the tourism management agency and tourism businesses are to create good products and build a friendly tourist environment. Local residents are also responsible for providing good services to help visitors have enjoyable experiences.

According to Mr. Nguyen Van Phuc, Deputy Director of the Department of Tourism, tourism is not only an important economic sector but also a bridge between different groups of people and cultures. However, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), tourism is both an agent and a victim of climate change. Tourism destinations will be affected by the adverse impacts from tourism activities if there are no sound solutions.

According to the Tourism Department, recently, responsible tourism in Hue has been accelerating. The sector has issued a code of conduct in tourism. In particular, there are rules that stress the responsibility of visitors in respecting Hue culture and protect the environment of tourist destinations. Local people have the responsibility to create favorable conditions for visitors to have the best experience in Hue without clinging to and nagging tourists.

Back to the issue of environmental protection in sustainable tourism development, Hue is one of the few destinations with a green, clean and eco-friendly environment. The Department of Tourism informed that the Department and related organizations have co-organized many environmental clean-up activities which call for active participation from all related parties to cooperate and raise awareness in enhancing environmental protection.

Recently, the clean-up event with the name "Thanking the Perfume River” was a gesture to show that goal. Many tourists came to Hue and participated in the event. The tourism sector will increase the promotion of these types of activities in order to raise awareness and responsibility of tourists and local residents in building sustainable and green destinations.

Mr. Tran Quang Hao, director of Huetourist, said that at the homestay Luong Quan (Thuy Bieu) that the company is exploiting, the power for the guests’ facilities are all from natural sources of energy. The future direction of the company is to increase the use of clean energy, which will make visitors more satisfied when using the service, because this is gradually becoming the trend.

Hue is a green destination

A responsible destination

According to the Office for Research and Development of the Department of Tourism, studies on the "hot" development of tourism show that the construction works will disrupt the landscape and destroy the values of the space; organized tours of curious visitors in national parks will disturb the lives of wildlife; lack of waste treatment systems from hotels and restaurants will lead to the pollution of rivers. Tourism also increases activities that have negative impacts on local people. If not active in finding solutions, Hue will fall victim to these problems. 

Leaders of the Department of Tourism recognize that with the development of tourism, responsibility will determine the sustainability of each destination. Increasing responsibility in tourism is not easy. For example, with visitors, most are very aware of protecting the destination, but some do harm to the monuments and the environment. Raising awareness to increase responsibility is an important solution.

To increase accountability, in addition to the traditional products, Hue needs to have responsible activities, such as cleaning up the environment, participating in volunteer tours, increasing responsibility to the destination.

Recently, the Asian Institute of Management and Development piloted models of ecotourism in some localities of Hue. The goal is to increase the responsibility of tourism, develop the model of community tourism, thereby improving the lives of people through tourism development. This will make the model of eco-tourism in Hue more practical, increase income, and improve the socio-economic conditions of the localities.

Another issue that needs to be addressed is the responsible use of labor by the implementation of labor standards to provide opportunities for both men and women to have good and effective jobs in an environment that is free, equal, safe and respectful. This is likely to be difficult for many people, but it in fact has a long-term effect. People working in tourism must also be trained to improve their ability to serve more professionally.

Story and photos: Duc Quang

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