Khoa Pham Nguyen Dinh
Recommendations for Chôm Chôm Travel's partners on sustainable travel!
There are ups and downs to providing sustainable travel in Vietnam. While tourists have high expectations, locals sometimes struggle to understand them. What would you do as a provider of sustainable tourism? This blog is dedicated to you!
What is sustainable travel?
To understand sustainable travel, you can first look at overtourism. According to Cambridge Dictionary, overtourism describes when too many people travel to or visit a place so that the site is spoiled and the local’s life is impacted negatively.
In contrast, sustainable travel (or sustainable tourism) means:
Balancing impacts of travelling on economic growth, human well-being, and environmental health.
Minimising negative impacts and maximising positive ones on local communities, cultures, ecosystems, and the planet.
Giving positive impacts with immediate and long-term effects.
Moreover, sustainable travel is a broad term that includes many aspects, such as ecotourism, regenerate travel, community-based tourism, ethical travel, and nature tourism.
How to be a sustainable travel provider?
To begin, you must understand that sustainability is not a trend but the foundation of your business. Here are some suggestions from Chôm Chôm Travel to help you achieve your 3Ps (planet - people - profit) sustainability goals:
1. Sustainability travel for our planet
Offering eco-friendly accommodations
The first impression is crucial! When you set your business as a sustainable travel service, you must ensure your hotel, homestay, or service would have a ‘sustainable look’. For example, you can give them a fresh coconut or fresh juice instead of offering them a commercial plastic bottle for a welcome drink. Some other recommendations for providing an eco-friendly could be:
Provide your guests with branded reusable water bottles and set up water refill stations.
Have your own garden or suggest to your guests to go to garden-to-table restaurants.
Prepare bicycles for your guests to travel around.
You can also encourage your guests not to litter plastic bags by suggesting they give you plastic in exchange for a gift, a souvenir from local stores!
Conserve water and energy
It's obvious, but we often don't keep in mind that the resources on our planet are limited, including water and energy. Besides transportation, tourism also impacts the locals' energy and water supply. And maybe you didn't know, travellers often use more water and energy than the locals. It gets worse when the locals cannot keep up with that demand.
Saving water is related to saving energy! To offer sustainable travel services, you can apply low-water laundry machines, minimise pool water and consider using intelligent water management solutions. As a travel provider, you should always remind your guests to save water and energy by turning off the lights or any electronics before leaving, suggesting they shower instead of a bath, etc. It would help if you also considered using low-energy lighting. This can help you use 80% less energy and produce less heat.
2. For travellers - Our visitors should be included in sustainable tourism!
Sustainable travel is social responsibility, which means everyone is involved, including travellers, travel providers, and locals. So as a provider, you are the key to connecting your guests to local life! Suggest they eat at local restaurants, markets, or any other services.
Ensure you are providing your guests with your best practice of sustainable travel. You must offer recycling bins, add some notes to remind them to save water and energy, and encourage your guests to use reusable materials like towels, water bottles, etc.
Lastly, you can ask your guests for their feedback or recommendations about your sustainable travelling practices. They would give you interesting and surprising ideas to improve your environmental efforts.
3. For the locals' profits - Respect and support the locals.
Our responsibility is to involve locals to help our guests have authentic travels and experiences as locals! You can hire locals instead of people who have to travel a long distance to get to the office or non-locals. By hiring locals, you improve our guests' experience and contribute to economic growth. Furthermore, you can recommend our guests visit traditional craft villages and local stores. And it would be fantastic if you could provide a list of trustworthy local businesses for our guests to visit or collaborate with reliable local partners.
The below checklist will help you to know how sustainable your service is:
Practising sustainable travel in Vietnam is accessible but challenging; while most foreign travellers understand and can practice sustainability well, the locals still find it difficult. As the connection between them, you play a role in helping the locals understand what sustainable tourism is and allowing your guests to practice it too. So, save our checklist and ensure you are an authentic, sustainable travel service.
Contact Chôm Chôm Travel for a tailored adventure, and get your backpack ready for sustainable travel!
Address: 33/2 Quoc Huong, Thao Dien, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam