Travel

Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu eyes sustainable green tourism

Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu authorities are looking to sustainable green tourism to retain the province’s natural beauty while also fostering economic growth.

 

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A view of Vũng Tàu beach. VNA/

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Bồ Xuân Hiệp

BÀ RỊA-VŨNG TÀU — Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu authorities are looking to sustainable green tourism to retain the province’s natural beauty while also fostering economic growth.

Speaking at a forum last month on green tourism in the province, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoàng Đạo Cương said as global interest in sustainable travel continues to rise, the province needs to focus on this. 

Nestled along the southern coast, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu, known for its pristine beaches, lush mountains and rich history, has immense potential for sustainable tourism, he said.

“To achieve it, the province needs to focus on the preservation and promotion of its cultural heritage and traditional ethos as well as the protection of the environment.”

He said it is vital to advocate responsible tourism practices such as minimising environmental impacts, respecting local cultures and supporting the local economy. However, despite various initiatives, significant breakthroughs are yet to be achieved in green and sustainable tourism development.

Lê Ngọc Khánh, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said global interest in sustainable travel continues to rise, and Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu is in a prime position to lead in green tourism development, setting an example for other provinces.

“Once a hub for oil and gas production, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu has undergone a transformation in recent years with a focus on diversifying its economy through tourism.”

Through collaborations between local authorities, businesses and the community, the province is striving to achieve a balance between economic growth and environmental conservation, he said.

Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu is committed to sustainable tourism, which is not only beneficial for the environment but would also ensure long-term prosperity, he added.

Efforts such as applying a circular economy model in Côn Đảo Island and implementing eco-friendly tourism models such as litter-collection tours, and reforestation contribute to green and sustainable tourism in the province.

It is also leveraging its agricultural and ecological strengths to connect rural communities with beach tourism resources, making them more appealing to visitors seeking a connection with nature.

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Paragliding in Vũng Tàu during the Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Tourism Week from November 17 to 19. VNA/

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Indispensable trend

Vũ Quốc Trí, general secretary of the Vietnam Tourism Association, said green tourism is an inevitable trend but Việt Nam is facing challenges in advancing it. One of the major obstacles is the fluctuation in the number of tourists during the year.

During the peak travel season the large number of visitors makes it difficult to promote sustainable tourism. Overcrowding at popular tourist sites combined with low awareness of green tourism among both locals and tourists continue to be concerns, he added.

Experts have highlighted Việt Nam’s potential for green tourism, citing its expansive agriculture, large forest areas and favourable location for nature-based tourism programmes. 

To fully capitalise on this potential, experts said the country should review and update its green tourism development criteria and consider new policies to support sustainable tourism projects.

There is a call for the development of a legal framework for green tourism focusing on environmental awareness, cultural preservation and diversification of eco-tourism options, they added.

Nguyễn Hữu Ý Yên, CEO of Saigontourist, said it is essential to enhance collaboration between various stakeholders like restaurants and hotels, the community and enterprises for developing green tourism.

Phạm Ngọc Hải, chairman of the Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Tourism Association, said the province aims to promote sustainable practices in the hospitality industry such as protecting and restoring natural habitats.

It will also offer training to local communities to further sustainable tourism in the province.

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Côn Đảo National Park in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province boasts rich eco-systems. VNA/

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The forum was held as part of the Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Tourism Week last month, which attracted local and foreign tourists.

The festival featured a number of activities, including culinary and beer festivals, an expo showcasing “One Commune-One Product” products, paragliding and paramotor performances, kayaking, a kite festival, and a golf tournament at The Bluffs Grand Hồ Tràm.

Trần Thị Thu Hiền, deputy director of the provincial Department of Tourism, said the Tourism Week was part of efforts to adapt to new trends. The efforts include embracing sustainable tourism practices and providing a range of high-quality, engaging activities for tourists, she added.

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Rubbish being collected and classified on Ông Câu Beach in the Côn Đảo National Park in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province. VNA/

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In the first 10 months of the year, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu received 13 million visitors, higher than the full-year target of 12 million.

Tourism revenues in the first nine months were worth VNĐ11.9 trillion, an increase of 31.8 per cent year-on-year. 

Last year there were 12.6 million arrivals, a 263 per cent jump from Covid-hit 2021, including more than 158,000 foreign visitors. 

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