Vietnamese Tourism Cities Win Southeast Asian Prizes

Three local cities are set to be presented with the ASEAN Clean Tourist Awards 2022.

Vietnamese Tourism Cities Win Southeast Asian Prizes
Da Lat (Photo: VN Express)

Many Vietnamese entities will be honored at this year’s ASEAN Tourism Awards in four out of the five categories, namely ASEAN Green Hotel Awards, ASEAN MICE Venue Awards, ASEAN Clean Tourist City Awards, and ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Awards, according to the organizers of the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2022, according to VNA.

The prizes will be announced and presented within the framework of the forum to be held in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, from January 16 – 20, under the theme “a Community of Peace and Shared Future”.

Three local cities are set to be presented with the ASEAN Clean Tourist Awards 2022, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. The trio is Ha Long City of the northern province of Quang Ninh, Da Lat City of the Central Highland province of Lam Dong, and Vung Tau City of the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

To earn the honor, cities must satisfy criteria relating to environmental management, cleanliness, waste management, awareness-building on environmental protection and cleanliness, green spaces, health, urban safety for tourists, tourism infrastructure, and meeting facilities, said VOV.

Vietnamese Tourism Cities Win Southeast Asian Prizes
Ha Long bay, Quang Ninh (Photo: Nhan Dan)

Well known for its natural beauty, Da Lat is also a city that has a very good quality of air, with US AQI readings taken in late 2020 coming in consistently with good ratings, as well as the concentration of PM2.5 in the air being recorded with levels as low as 4.1 µg/m³.

This makes Da Lat a very clean city, with large amounts of trees and forested areas surrounding it as well as its high position above sea level all contributing to its cleaner quality of air, according to IQ Air.

At the start of 2021, Ha Long was experiencing “Moderate” quality air There is an increasing number of tourists who are drawn to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh city.

The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various shapes and sizes. The city benefits from being on the coast and is subject to the offshore prevailing winds that blow across the city and have the effect of cleaning the air.

With an average US AQI reading of 51 and a PM2.5 measured at 12.1 µg/m³, the air quality in Vung Tau is classed as moderate according to satellite data. Located on a peninsular with the ocean on three sides, the air quality is better than expected, due to the prevailing winds.

Vietnamese Tourism Cities Win Southeast Asian Prizes
ASEAN Tourism Forum poster. (Photo: VNA)

ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) is a massive event in the framework of ASEAN tourism cooperation, held annually, rotating alphabetically according to the names of ASEAN member countries. The awards aim to honor and popularise localities and at the same time boost high-quality tourism services in the region.

It is the largest event within the ASEAN tourism cooperation framework. Vietnam will send a delegation to the forum.

The forum will feature a series of major events, such as the 25th ASEAN Tourism Ministers Meeting, the Tourism Ministers Meetings between ASEAN and partner countries (China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, India, and Russia), the International Travel Expo TRAVEX, and the ASEAN Tourism Award Ceremony.

Vietnam’s pavilion at TRAVEX 2022 will be themed “Live Fully in Vietnam”, with the participation of popular tourist destinations, tour operators, and luxurious hotels and resorts from the country.

The ATF was first organized in Kuala Lumpur in 1981. The event was hosted by Vietnam twice, in Hanoi in 2009 and in Quang Ninh in 2019.

At ATF 2022, tourism leaders will closely review the progress of implementing the ASEAN Tourism Ministers Joint Statement on promoting cooperation in ASEAN Tourism recovery, including the implementation of the Post Covid-19 Recovery Plan for ASEAN Tourism. The conference, at the same time, will discuss and provide guidelines for implementing the Joint Statement.

The Post Covid-19 Recovery Plan for ASEAN Tourism was developed by Cambodia as the host, with support from the Canadian Trade and Investment Facility for Development (CTIF) and experts from Greenview Strategic Consulting firm. The plan has been approved by the ASEAN Tourism Ministers in September 2021.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, ASEAN is one of Vietnam’s major sources of tourists. In 2019, tourist arrivals from ASEAN totaled nearly 2.1 million, mostly from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Cambodia. The figure accounted for about 11.6 percent of the total number of foreign visitors to Vietnam.

Valerie Mai