Vietnam is a country that thrives on its tourism industry, which has benefited its economy considerably overtime. However, with the ever-growing popularity of Vietnam as a travel destination, the influx of visitors also leaves behind an undesirable amount of negative footprints at an alarming rate. To counteract this problem, your decisions as a traveler can profoundly impact the sustainability of Vietnam’s tourism. We encourage travelers to Vietnam to consider our sustainable tips for your Vietnam travel to leave more positive footprints when visiting the country.
As a conscious traveler, you should always keep the 3 R’s principle (Refuse - Reduce - Reuse) in mind when traveling sustainably to limit any unnecessary additional waste.
The first R of the 3 R’s principle is the easiest one to put into practice. Consider turning down any promotional fliers handed out to you or any restaurant disposables. Vietnam is a country that's still using a large amount of plastic bags daily, especially when you're visiting the local markets. Declining non-degradable and plastic items will decrease the amount of paper and plastic waste that will end up in a landfill. Such products' demand would also be affected when the businesses realize that people have no interest in such needless items.
Pack only what is essential for your travel needs
The true challenge in sustainable travel in Vietnam will come from your effort to control your traveling tendencies. Consider packing light and only bring along items that are crucial for your traveling needs. If you can access information like itinerary, tickets, and boarding pass from your smartphone, it will eliminate the need for physical paper printouts. Overall, adopting a minimalist style of packing will result in a lighter load to carry and also minimize your trash contribution towards your destination.
Not sure of what you need for your visit to Vietnam? Check out our blog about Packing for Vietnam
Reusable cloth bags used for general shopping
The majority of Vietnam still relies on single-use plastic items, so reusing these items or finding an alternative replacement for them can help prevent waste. Consider bringing your cloth bag for shopping instead of opting for the plastic bags if you can. Use your handkerchief instead of napkins/paper towels, have your own durable, reusable water bottle instead of plastic ones, and perhaps your own set of reusable cutleries.
As sustainable tips for your Vietnam travel, the 3 R’s principle will serve to be a strict general rule that you can follow to contribute to a positive footprint during your visit.
Without a doubt, researching an area before committing to visiting it is something all travelers should do. However, when keeping a sustainable travel approach in mind, there are a few things that you should consider during your research.
Some sustainable tips for your Vietnam travel include researching the reviews of the area or attraction if they are available. Any reservation sites, animal parks, or ethnic attractions should be examined for ethical conduct. There are seldom tourist services in the highlands or the countryside that include employing animals such as circus or riding animals. Of course, you should avoid any business that relies on animal exploitation and go for the alternative of visiting the animal sanctuaries or conservation centers.
Read more on Ecotourism in Vietnam
The next sustainable tips for your Vietnam travel will be finding a tour company committed to sustainability, ethical business practices, and local prosperity. Once again, research into such a tour company will be essential to determine their commitment to sustainability. Reading reviews from other travelers and asking on social media will help you make an informed decision.
At i Tour Vietnam, we have the GIVE BACK Program and the i Volunteer Expedition initiative to support environmental sustainability and support for children’s health, education, and hunger prevention. We are also in partnership with the HELPING HANDS Foundation to widen our reach for underprivileged children.
Interested in booking a sustainable tour for your visit to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam? Check out our tour catalog.
Experience an authentic lifestyle of the local ethnic people in a homestay
A traditional folk dance known as bamboo dancing that is unique to many tribes residing in Northwestern Vietnam
A workshop where visitors can create traditional crafts indigenous to the local ethnicity
To truly support a sustainable tourism industry in Vietnam, try to attend or visit any local attractions to support the local population. This can include visiting local museums, participating in a local homestay program, or participating in local exchange activities. By choosing to spend your money at such attractions, you will help grow the local businesses and positively impact the local community. On top of all that, you will have an enriched experience connecting with the authentic local culture.
In Vietnam nowadays, sustainable accommodations are readily available in a metropolis like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, or even in off-the-beaten-path destinations like Sa Pa. You’ll be surprised to know that not only larger hotels have contributed great effort to sustainable tourism development, but green lodging services of homestays and farm stays also allow you to be close to nature while conserving and developing the local communities.
If you insist on staying at a hotel while in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, consider staying at a sustainable option to reduce your carbon footprint in Vietnam. Check out some of our recommendations in the following blogs below.
Or check the price and reviews of the hotels in the search box below:
In general, keep in mind that you can always make an effort to travel sustainably by making adjustments to your traveling habits. Your choices of activity during travel can also have an impact on your destination. We hope you will implement the sustainable travel tips mentioned in this blog during your visit to Vietnam.
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