Ecotourism in Vietnam, Why Is It Important?
Ecotourism covers a wide range of practices that relate to how we travel. As an eco-traveller, we choose to go in a way that makes the least impact on the environment and respect the community. According to the International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
Ecotourism as responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.
Vietnam has a vast tourism potential since the Doi Moi took place in 1986, making this industry one of a primary sector of the economy. The period from 2001 to 2010 was the highest point when the tourism development had placed as a spearhead economic industry of the country. There are many good reasons why the tourism industry has brought into play for the growth of its economy. On the other hand, mother nature has been kind to give the country with a huge natural resource from coastal lines, limestone systems, to dense rain forests, which makes the country a gold mine for the ecotourism.
Fundamental of ecotourism
It is no doubt that the tourism industry brings many great benefits to the economy. Still, it also has many bad impacts on the environment and contributes to biodiversity deterioration. In response to that, the concept of sustainable development is introduced to satisfy the present needs without draining natural resources. This objective becomes the fundamental of ecotourism, in which those who participate in this type of tourism, they must follow these principles:
- Mitigate impacts on the host
- Travel responsibly, respectively and raise cultural awareness
- Ensure a positive experience for visitors and the local
- Provide financial benefits for the community as well as the natural conservation
- Become sustainable travel through a variety of practice such as carbon offset flight, single-use plastic, etc
- Generate income for the local community and the industry
The importance of ecotourism in Vietnam
Vietnam has a rich bio-system from the North to the South. Due to the climatic condition, the country is home to thousands of faunal and floral species, not to mention many newly found one in recent years. Such potential is a big advantage for the travel industry, especially ecotourism. Thus, the concept of sustainable development must be factored into tourism development.
Valuable for the community
You will notice the respect for the environment in Vietnam is low. Plastic bottles and rubbish is everywhere on the street. Besides, carbon emission from heavy traffic cause haze over town and pollute the air. While you cannot change the local habit, don’t be a part of them. Participating in ecotourism activities is a great solution to partly reduce the impact and raise awareness on the current issues.
Learning path for anyone involve
When we get to know a place long enough, we tend to create a bonding with that place, which inspires us to protect it. Eco projects give a chance for the locals to gain a deeper level of education so that they can be able to community with tourists. Visitors, while appreciating the beauty of local nature can also interact with the locals and share the experience. From their stories, we get to know the culture and issues they are facing.
Promote the economy
Many places in Vietnam depend on the tourism industry to survive. The attraction might be great for travellers, but it sometimes does not give back benefit to the community. Large companies tend to prioritize their profit over the local community. Therefore, ecotourism help to promote the destination while ensuring the benefit of the host.
Reduce carbon footprint
Commuting is a part of travelling. While some people choose car rental, others might take a flight for saving time. In a country that has a severe air polluted from motorbikes like Vietnam, your way of travelling can either mitigate the impact or add more harm to it. Consider choosing tours or activities that are friendly-environmental or have the least negative effect on the environment.