|Hoi An strives to be an eco-friendly city and a safe destination for tourists. Photo: VOV
Hoi An is one of the first localities in Vietnam to pilot waste separation at source, saying no to plastic bags. The World Biosphere Reserve of Cu Lao Cham is a zero-waste destination. Few people know that not long ago Hoi An collected more than 100 tons of waste each day, two thirds of which came from tourism.
Ms. Pham Thi Linh Chi, owner of Ông Thọ Garden Villa, said that in the early days, many service staff and visitors disagreed with limiting the use of single-use plastic packaging and boxes. She said that thanks to locals’ determination and perseverance, now environmentally friendly items such as rice straws and paper cups are used in daily life. Many homestays and villa owners in Hoi An sort their waste in the kitchen to make organic fertilizer, reducing environmental impact. Ms. Pham Thi Linh Chi said that this not only helps lodging providers build a distinct image, but also sends a message about how to make tourism environmentally friendly.
“If I was afraid of obstacles, I would not have followed from the beginning. From the bottom of my heart, I spread it to my staff. After doing it successfully, we can see the benefits of a sustainable direction and business advantages, so everyone is very happy and work together,” Linh said.
|The story of green tourism is no longer new for Hoi An. Photo: VOV
Director of Hoa Hong Travel Service Company Pham Vu Dung said that after more than two years affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government, people and business community understand that in order to soon revive the tourism industry, they must find a new direction.
“Tourism development entails environmental pollution. For Hoi An, it’s now time to restructure tourism products. If you want visitors to come back, you have to see if you have any new products besides the old products we have exploited for more than 20 years. These are the models oriented towards clean, green tourism,” he said.
Hoi An has successfully piloted five green tourism models. Over 60 businesses have signed a commitment saying no to plastic waste, and 70 to 100 businesses will get green tourism certification by 2025. This is the foundation for Hoi An to soon be recognized as a "green tourism" destination.
Mr. Phan Xuan Thanh, Chairman of Quang Nam Tourism Association, said that the locality has basically met green tourism criteria, which is expected to be announced at the opening ceremony of the National Tourism Year 2022 later this month. Quang Nam province is the first locality in the country to build a set of green tourism criteria. Mr. Thanh said: “Doing green tourism or doing any other model needs to be quantitative, not qualitative, that is, it must be coded into sets of criteria. For example, if you want to participate in green tourism, you are required to recycle garbage, save garbage, save electricity, and save water.”
|Green tourism is expected to be the main direction of Quang Nam and Vietnam's tourism in general. Photo: VOV
Quang Nam’s experiences will be used in the process of recovering Vietnam’s tourism industry, according to Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung, “We have defined tourism as our spearhead economic sector that supports other economic sectors. Sustainable tourism development is our way to go. Resolutions to recover tourism have already been in place. Hopefully, in the next two years, Vietnam's tourism will prosper.”