Hoi An city was among the first localities in Vietnam to pilot sorting of solid waste at the source and eradication of plastic bags. The World Biosphere Reserve of Cu Lao Cham is a model zero-waste destination.
Green tourism is no longer a stranger to travel companies in Hoi An city.
Pham Thi Linh Chi, owner of the Vuon Ong Tho villa, said her staff and her customers were not completely sold at first on the idea of saying no to plastic waste and single-use containers. But Hoi An was keen on the idea, and ultimately paper straws, paper cups, and other environment-friendly materials have become part of a new lifestyle there.
Homestay villa owners are eager to sort solid waste in their kitchens and compost the organic waste. Chi says this does wonders for their branding and sends a message about environmentally friendly tourism that tourists like.
“If I was petrified by the obstacles that might arise, I would not have started on this journey. From the bottom of my heart I really want to lead a new environment-conscious lifestyle, and I encourage my staff to do the same. Now that this impactful behavior is in full swing, we’re noticing how much a sustainable approach benefits our business. That’s why we are content to push forward,” said Chi.
The World Biosphere Reserve of Cu Lao Cham in Quang Nam province
Pham Vu Dung, Director of the Rose Travel Service Company Limited, says the business community in Hoi An, a World Cultural Heritage, is aware of their responsibility to promote the city as a safe, environment-friendly destination.
“Tourism activities have, over the years, produced environmental pollutants. It’s high time for Hoi An city to introduce new tourism products. If we continue to offer the same tours that have been offered for the past 20 years, how can we lure visitors back again and again? So we’re now eyeing green agro-tourism,” said Dung.
There are currently five green tourism models that have gained recognition in Hoi An. 60 enterprises have pledged to say no to plastic waste. The city is striving to have 100 businesses certified green by 2025. That’s the prerequisite for Hoi An city to be recognized as a green destination.
According to Phan Xuan Thanh, Chairman of the Quang Nam Tourism Association, Hoi An has vowed to relentlessly pursue sustainable tourism.
Thanh said, “We’re in the middle of nowhere without a set of standards to guide our way. A travel company that seeks a green tourism certificate must recycle its waste and conserve electricity and water.”
Phan Xuan Thanh, Chairman of the Quang Nam Tourism Association
This is the second time Quang Nam province has hosted National Tourism Year, the biggest event of Vietnam’s tourism sector. An extravagant opening ceremony last Friday on Hoi An Memories island will be followed by 60 activities throughout the year.