Responsible Tourism in Vietnam
The first priority is to analyze the needs of the local community.
Vietnam is getting more and more popular amongst tourists. This is a good development for the country’s economy, but at the same time increases the risk of adversely disturbing the daily life of the average Vietnamese. At Khiri Travel we are committed to operate in a responsible way.
But what does responsible tourism or travel mean for us? In what way can your travelers be involved in contributing to the reduction of poverty? As a local agent and Vietnam specialists we constantly ask ourselves these questions.
Vietnam, being a large and densely populated country, generates lots of opportunities to make a positive impact – in the western point of view. However, we want to be sure the community will get the full advantage of responsible tourism.
Before getting involved, we believe analyzing the needs of the local community is essential. For example, there are projects in Vietnam that didn’t work out well because the donation didn’t meet the needs of the local Vietnamese. There is no value in offering sophisticated or high-tech equipment if you know in advance those villagers will not be able to run the equipment correctly or pay for maintenance. Consider the water pumps installed in Central Vietnam’s remote villages. Today, unfortunately, these high technology water pumps no longer work because the villagers didn’t know how to repair or maintain them.
Examples of easy and positive ways to travel responsibly in Vietnam and benefit the needs of the local people are to volunteer or visit a local community by teaching English or overnight in Home Stays available in places such as Ky So, Sapa and the Mekong Delta. When in Hoi An, the locals receive direct profit when tourists purchase the locally produced handicraft products. Travelers can support Vietnam’s historical heritage by visiting the imperial city in Hue, or in a more daily practice, visitors can safely enjoy their lunch in popular local eateries to support small enterprises.
“Leave more than footprints” is probably easy to do with a one-time donation, but do make sure this support contributes to the long term as well. We at Khiri Vietnam are happy to advise you on how to make sure that your action or those of your valuable clients will be beneficial for all.
Sales & Marketing Manager – Khiri Travel Vietnam