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Ecotourism Vietnam

Find an eco tour in Vietnam. A list of eco tour operators, travel agents and accommodation providers either based in or that can organise trips to Vietnam. Each listing includes a full page description so click for more information.

Travel Agents, Tour Operators & Eco Accommodation in Vietnam

Handspan Adventure Travel - Vietnam
Handspan Adventure Travel offers a high quality alternative tourism in Vietnam. Tailor made tours to some remote areas focusing on encounters and exchanges. Established in 1997, it was first and foremost a bunch of philanthropist travelers willing to open the natural and cultural heritage of their home country to the world while preserving and enhancing it.

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Ecotourism in Vietnam

Vietnam is an attractive tourism destination, its offer is wide and based on a strong heritage made of stunning various sceneries and vivid ethnic cultures. But it is also a fast developing country eager to emerge among the other Asian Tigers and for which the fast tourism growth was too good to say no to. After more than a decade we can say that it has gone too fast for a such exposed country. Destination management is not something anyone can improvise and Vietnam suffered from a lack of experience in tourism industry and expertise in sustainable development.

Some places have been and still are over visited with an amazing flow of tourists uncontrolled that caused irreversible damages on economic, environmental and socio-cultural contexts. The best examples to illustrate this degradation are Sapa and Halong bay. If media still highlight those places (only), if some tours operators unscrupulously chose to raise money to the detriment of sustainable development, if the competent authorities seem to be overtaken by the problem, if tourist keep feeding this complex destruction machine, the point today is not anymore to hold someone responsible but to raise awareness and act for a brighter future.

And here comes the light when we have a look at the general evolution and the new trends of tourism in Vietnam. After some years of practice, some tours operators are now able and have the will to propose an alternative tourism. It does not always fill all the responsible tourism criteria yet but at least proves that problems have been heard and understood. Tourism sustainable development must consider the local challenges and minimize its negative impact while optimizing benefits for local populations.

To develop some destinations with the concern of sustainability and run what we could call ecotours, one of the first steps is the setting up of responsible bases to host tourists. Those bases can be of various kinds, from the basic homestay on stilts to the more comfortable eco-lodge. The main point is that they directly involve local people (increasing their revenues and providing them with new skills) and enable the operators to have a strong close control and to be fully immerged into the local environments to understand better the challenges and create suitable solutions.

Several projects of this kind are emerging in Vietnam. To take few examples, Vu Linh (Yen Bai province), Pan Hou (Ha Giang province), Tuyen Quang (Tuyen Quang province), Pu Luong (Thanh Hoa province), Cham Archipelago (Quang Nam province), Chay Lap (Quang Binh province)... all those tourism/hospitality projects feature accommodation in harmony with the local environment, involve local people and organize some short tours in their surroundings. A way to preserve and enhance local natural and cultural environments.

We are at the very beginning of ecotourism in Vietnam and some destinations seem to be irreversibly compromised but the first step toward a responsible tourism is in process, the will of local operators to preserve their country is real and the mind of tourists is progressively changing. Vietnam is a wide wild garden with a huge ecotouristic potential, everyone has a piece of the puzzle to contribute and we would like to encourage travelers to organize their holidays through local responsible operators. Along their experience and expertise goes the insurance of an enjoyable trip for both guests and hosts and of a local development thought on a long term.

A big thank-you to Guilhem CAVAILLE for providing the content for our Vietnam page.

Ecotourism Vietnam Articles & Resources

Below you can find a collection of resources related to ecotourism issues in Vietnam.

Articles on ecotourdirectory.com:

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Travel with Respect

While traveling in Vietnam, you will certainly encounter people from different various cultures and go through a rich and luxuriant nature. This heritage has to be preserved, and if the local tours operators have their part of responsibility, you also have, as a traveler, a role to play.

We won’t give you an exhaustive list of things to do or not, it would be tedious for you to read it and a big mistake for all to think that there is an only way to travel.

To give you the trends of a general attitude to adopt, we would rather focus on the 3 keys of the responsible tourism concept and illustrate them with some easy-to-follow recommendations.

Natural environment preservation:
- Refuse plastic bags when you buy something. They are not recycled in Vietnam and local people overuse them.

- Reduce your energy consumption by trading usual comfort for local experience: slow down the use of light, air conditioner, hot water... Vietnam has a very poor energy production.

Economic balance maintenance:
- Before buying products from local people, ask your guide for average prices to avoid giving an incommensurate amount of money or bargaining an unreasonable low price.

- Responsible tourism is not charity, do not feel like you always have to compensate your presence with material things. Give a smile, an interest, a proof of respect.

Socio-cultural heritage respect and enhancement:
- People are not still lifes, please ask before shooting if you focus on only one or few people. Anyway, remain discreet when taking pictures.

- Learn some words in Vietnamese before coming. A simple “xin chao” (hello) or “cam on’ (thank you). Local people will appreciate the effort.

Travel Safe

Vietnam is a safe country for tourists. Even if recently number of pickpocketing acts has grown in the touristy places of the main cities, it remains rare and it is easy to prevent. So be careful in the very crowded places and when a some street sellers stay around you.

 

Interactive Map of Vietnam

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* ecotourdirectory.com is not responsible for the travel advice and travel with respect sections on this page. We would strongly advise that before traveling to Vietnam you consult your countries embassy for the lastest guidance.

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