These days the tourism industry plays very important part in the world economy, (nearly 12% of the world’s GDP). Especially for developing countries like Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. In the year 2006 Vietnam welcomed about 3.5 million foreign tourists, Laos: 1 million and Cambodia: 1.3 million. This represents a heavy injection of foreign funds into these economies.
While this creates many benefits that contribute to national and local development, it can also impact negatively on the environment and local cultures. Issues include the depletion of natural resources, pollution, land degradation, and breakdown of local cultures that have previously survived for thousand years.
By traveling responsibly with Viet Vision Travel, following this simple code of conduct and encouraging others to do the same, you can make a real, positive difference to the people and places you visit. We hope you will follow these guidelines to help preserve the beauty of our world for the next generation.
Responsible Traveler’s Code
Find out about your destination. Buy relevant guidebooks and learn about the culture, politics, geography, religion and customs of the area before you travel.
Learn some basic words and phrases (even just hello, please and thank you). Normally our guides will teach you some simple local words and phrases when the trip starts. A few words will go a long way towards developing communication and understanding with local people.
Dress respectfully. It is very easy to embarrass, shame or offend local people by not covering up or dressing appropriately especially when you visit pagodas, temples, or religious places.
In Indochina, do not touch heads of adults, as they believe that is the place through which they worship to their ancestors. (Touching children’s head is fine.)
Buy locally made goods and use locally provided services. Try to put money into the local economy by encouraging trade and the local manufacture of goods and crafts. Pay a fair price for the goods and services you buy. Haggling is often a part of local life, but make this light and bright - don’t go too far. Keep a realistic perspective. What is a trifling sum to you, could be a significant amount to a poor family (perhaps making the difference of having a meal or not.)
Ask permission to photograph or video – how would you like it if a stranger came along and took photos of you going about your everyday life (hanging out the washing, going to the gym or washing the dog)? But do not pay people for taking their picture. It leads to begging. If they ask, just don't take the picture.
Don't give children candy or sweets because many do not have dental care. If you want to give local people or children something please ask a Viet Vision Travel guide for suggestions. Avoid conspicuous displays of wealth, especially in very poor communities. Not only is this insensitive, you may become the target for thieves or snatchers. Remove watches, rings and expensive jewellery.
Our style of travel is environmentally and culturally responsible and at all times we endeavor to give something to the communities that we visit. Our policy will be provided to you at time of booking, and sets our environmental objectives and practices, and how you can play a part in reducing the impacts on environment and culture in the area visited.
These are some of our aims:
Our operation should maximize the positive impacts of tourism on the host communities. This includes using of the local staff, local suppliers and developing sustainable business.
Minimize the negative impacts of tourism. This is to ensure that tourism does not divert resources away from local communities or drive up prices of local resources.
Provide opportunities for cultural exchange, where the local communities and group members can share and learn from each other
Contribute toward the host community’s welfare. Whenever possible we will engage in partnerships with local agencies to develop programs that can assist the host communities. This may include support for health, education or environmental protection.