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Last updated: Friday, August 18, 2017

 

Tourism Environment Protection: Responsibility to All

Posted: Thursday, August 03, 2017


Sustainable tourism cannot be achieved by simply relying on ecosystems and natural sceneries, but also requires proper care for environmental protection. These are two interrelated and interlinked issues. To solve this puzzle, it is necessary to have a concerted cooperation of State agencies, tourism companies and the whole community as well.

Necessary to improve legal documents on environmental protection in tourism business
To date, the system of legal documents on environmental protection in tourism business has been initially formed and completed. Many regulations, decrees and circulars have been established to ensure the conservation of ecosystems and the environment when tourism is tapped, for example, the Law on Environmental Protection of 2014; Joint Circular 19/2013/TTLT-BVHTTDL-BTNMT; Decision 2151/QD-TTg on approving national tourism promotion programme in 2013 - 2020; Directive 18/CT-TTg on enhancing management of tourism environment and ensuring tourist security and safety.

It can be said that regulations on environmental protection in tourism business have been initially established as clear evidence for timely attention of the State and related agencies. However, these regulations have to date remained incomplete, lack of specific mechanisms and measures and lack of clear definitions of responsibility and accountability of related organisations and individuals.

On the other hand, managing and supervising the implementation of regulations on environmental protection in tourism business is still ineffective. Rewarding policies for good-performing organisations and individuals and sanctioning policies for serious violators are not enough to deter violations of environmental protection laws.

Therefore, it is necessary to urgently complete legal documents on environmental protection in tourism business in order to show specific ways for businesses, organisations and individuals to follow.

Enhancing the responsibility of the business and the community
Nguyen Van Tuan, General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said that “Tourism growth means creating more jobs for society and reducing poverty in tourist destinations. Therefore, developing sustainable tourism, environmentally and socially responsible tourism is a very important goal and solution to make breakthroughs in tourism development while still ensuring sustainability.”

In addition, responsible tourism requires travel companies to take responsibility for their tourism operations to protect the environment and avoid other negative impacts on tourism ecosystems.

Mr Pham Tien Dung, Director of Goldentours, said, indirect tourism businesses such as hotels, restaurants, catering service and transportation also have an equally important position and responsibility. Littering and using poor transport vehicles that seriously pollute the environment not only spoils the image of Vietnam's tourism but also harms human health.

To do this, according to environmentalists, tour operators need to regularly train, raise awareness of environmental protection, responsible tourism for employees, and those who directly work on tourism, supervise communications on environmental protection to tourist in a bid to reduce negative impacts on the natural environment and effectively use existing resources.

Mr Nguyen Van Tai, Director of Vietsense Company, said that this is not for any single person. The community, especially local people at tourist sites and visitors should also be responsible for protecting the environment and nature as this is a prerequisite for tourism development, directly affect the living environment, the economic development of local people. However, in many tourist places, those who are living on tourism are unaware of environmental protection, and they cause environmental and water, air pollution and spoils the ecosystem. Rubbish in Ha Long Bay has spoiled the beauty of a natural wonder in the world in the eyes of visitors. Tourists tend not to return to polluted sites, thus harming local people's livelihoods in the end.

Needless to say, tourism environment protection is indispensable to develop sustainable tourism. It directly affects the national economy in general and personal incomes in particular. Therefore, tourism environment protection requires a concerted cooperation of authorities, organisations, enterprises and the community.

Giang Tu








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