Substantial development has been a mutual goal every country is striving for, and Vietnam is not an exception. Responsible tourism, therefore, has a particularly important role to play in such an economic world. Have a look at our tips for traveling responsibly in Vietnam.
The tourism industry has become one of the most developing factors in Vietnam in recent years as it plays an essential role in the country regarding economic and cultural aspects. A large number of visitors to Vietnam from all over the world is a compliment for the promotion effort of the government.
Economic impacts. As tourism promotion often encourages several tourism-related services including hotels, tour guides, and travel agents, an increasing number of jobs are likely to be created. Those services are, in some cases, profitable, making it possible for locals to receive extra income on a daily basis. The act of seeking locally owned business, therefore, might direct a certain amount of money to local economies. Also, tourists can indirectly enhance service quality which in turn substantially contributes to tourism development.
Cultural Impacts. Vietnam embraces diverse cultures with over 50 ethnic minority groups. Those groups often live in isolated mountainous regions, keeping their distinct culture preserved for generations. The act of visiting such areas of tourists, especially foreigners, may aid in generating income for ethnic communities as well as spreading their cultures. Purchasing items being produced and sold locally and participating in local services may directly support their communities, making contributions to the conservation of cultural heritage and the maintenance of the world’s diversity alike.
Wildlife and Nature. While nature-based tourism seems to bring substantial profits, it can put a certain pressure on the environment, especially when there is an increasing number of tourists coming to Vietnam on a yearly basis. The act of having less awareness, littering and other types of polluting can cause environmental degradation and loss of natural biodiversity. That leads to a requirement of raising awareness of conservation among travelers. Despite having a significant number of stunning natural sceneries, Vietnam is now facing many issues which include the problem of maintaining environmental health standards. Pollution issue in Vietnam has been growingly apparent in main tourist cities such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Nha Trang.
People and Culture. The act of contacting the outside world may cause the loss of cultural practices in some cases. The number of tourists traveling to Vietnam may overwhelm locals in the host community, making it challenging for them to preserve their daily lifestyle. Besides, tourist accommodation growth can lead to the displacement of many heritage sites.
Read more on An Overview of Vietnam Tourism.
Despite being a developing country with increasing modernity, Vietnamese still values the traditions that have been affecting their daily life for centuries. A great understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues may not only help you have a good experience and feel more comfortable during your Vietnam travel but also lead to responsible tourism. It is highly recommended to do some researches on the Vietnamese economy, environment, culture, and traditions before your arrival. It would make you get used to Vietnamese culture more comfortably. Have a look at some Vietnam travel tips below.
- Consider dressing properly. There is no harsh restriction on clothes in Vietnam. However, Vietnamese people, especially older generations, often prefer clothes which do not over-reveal your body to show the respect for other people. Besides, if you are planning to visit religious sites such as temples and pagodas, there is a Vietnam travel tip for you which is to put on unrevealing clothes including long skirts and trousers.
- Avoid public displays of affection. Like other Asian culture, Vietnamese people prefer to keep a certain distance to their opposite gender friends. A Vietnam travel tip is not to show too much affection in public or hug and hold hands a person you just know without asking them since it may make other people uncomfortable.
- Ask permission before taking photos of the locals. This one is a useful tip for your travel in Viet since asking permission in such cases is a polite gesture, showing your respect for them. It is also a wonderful chance for you to have a conversation with locals. Most Vietnamese people are friendly and hospitable, and you will find many interesting stories when chatting with them.
- Avoid purchasing items from endangered species. Sea turtle shells, rhino horns, wild animal skins and many other products coming from endangered species are commonly found in Vietnam. However, the act of purchasing such items is not only illegal in Vietnam but also threaten wildlife.
- Travel overland. Traveling by public transports including trains and bus can significantly help to reduce a considerable amount of carbon monoxide and other harmful exhaust emissions. Besides, this is an ideal way of responsible travel in Vietnam for you to thoroughly enjoy the gorgeous sightseeing along the road during your trip, especially when you go through the Vietnamese countryside.
Find a bus/train ticket online here:
- Say no to plastics. Although plastics are known to have harmful effects on the environment and people’s health, they have been a part of Vietnamese daily lives for decades. To lead to responsible travel in Vietnam, you can try to reduce their toxic footprint by avoiding using plastic straws and refuse plastic bags when going shopping.
- Avoid littering. Littering is a problem in Vietnam which the government has been trying to solve by putting signs and more trash cans in public places. However, it may be difficult to find one in other places, especially in rural areas. In such cases, you should keep it in your bag, until you can find a place to dispose of it.
- Hire a local guide. It is not only an ideal Vietnam travel tip for you to explore a beautiful Vietnam thoroughly but also helps locals to raise their income. Check out our private tours for a fulfilling experience in your Vietnam travel.
- Go off the beaten tracks. Besides several well-known attractions including Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, and Nha Trang, there are many infamous destinations you can visit. Traveling to such places is another way to make a contribution to responsible travel in Vietnam, thus helping more locals to obtain benefits from your travel in Vietnam. Read more on Off-the-Beaten-Path in Saigon.
- Stay at local accommodation. Staying a night in a local home instead of a fancy hotel can bring you great memorable experiences in your travel in Vietnam. Homestays and other types of accommodation with a local family have become increasing preferable among tourists since they can experience the local lifestyles and enjoy tasty home-cooked foods. It is also a good way to help locals raise daily income, build local pride and confidence.
Find your next local homestay:
- Volunteer while traveling. It is a good way to make your contribution, to learn more about the locals, and to raise your social awareness. There are many ways you can volunteer while traveling in Vietnam. Many temples, pagodas, and churches raise orphans or disabled kids. You can spend some time to play with them and make a donation to them, such as milk, toys, and rice. When you book your Vietnam adventure with i Tour Vietnam, part of our proceeds go back to the community through our GIVEBACK Program to help children or the environment. Our team doesn't donate money, and we only buy items to donate to ensure that the donations will directly benefit the needed.
Vietnam is a wonderful country to explore with breathtaking landscapes and beautiful natural ecosystems. Responsible travel is a common tendency of today's tourism with the aim of environmental and cultural conservation. Check out our tips to have your best travel in Vietnam.