Hanoi targets green, sustainable tourism

The Hanoitimes - The development of green tourism has cemented the city's position on the national tourist map.


Hanoi has always identified green, clean, environmentally-friendly tourism as a focus, thereby further cementing the capital’s leading position in the national tourist map, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Tourism Tran Trung Hieu emphasized.

 An ecotourism tour in Ba Vi district. Photo: dulich24h

Mr. Hieu said green tourism development in association with environmental protection and climate change adaptation is a target of Hanoi in the incoming years. To reach the goal, Hanoi has taken a number of solutions to bolster tourism development but still protect nature reserves and environment.

“We promote the use of electric vehicles, cyclo and bicycles in the old town area, and implement ecotourism and community-based tourism in the suburbs (Duong Lam ancient village, Son Tay town), Bat Trang (Gia Lam district), Ba Vi district,” Mr. Hieu said.

Many tourist destinations in Hanoi have planted more trees and built flower gardens to create new and attractive tourism products, such as sunflower garden at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, lilies stream at Huong Pagoda (My Duc district), flowerbed of wild sunflower in Ba Vi National Park.

In addition, the city’s tourism regulatory body has conducted regular training of their staff on environment protection in tourism.

According to the the Institute for Tourism Development Research (ITDR), Vietnam currently has developed ecotourism in 23 out 33 national parks and 35 out of 127 nature reserves. In 2019, Vietnamese national parks welcomed about 2.5 million visitors, grossing revenue of about VND185 billion (US$8 million). 

In Hanoi, with great potential for green tourism in suburban districts and cities such as Son Tay, Ba Vi, My Duc, Thach That, Thanh Oai, Quoc Oai, among others, the development of this type of tourism associated with the promotion of value of natural resources and ecology is in the long-term strategy of the capital.

Solutions for sustainable tourism

 Children are playing at the Long Viet ecotourism area.

Green tourism minimizes impacts on the environment, positively contributing to biodiversity protection, encouraging the use of renewable energy, promoting natural and cultural heritages as well as developing environmentally-friendly products.

Dr. Truong Sy Vinh, the ITDR’s Vice Director under the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said that green and clean tourism development is not only associated with harnessing natural resources in national parks and nature reserves, but also it is about building a safe tourism environment and nature protection.

In particular, developing environmentally friendly travel in Hanoi still faces many challenges. Dr. Bui Thi Minh Nguyet, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (the Vietnam National University of Forestry) said that some tourist destinations have not paid due attention to developing tourism associated with local community, as well as in educating local residents and tourists on environmental and landscape protection.

Director of Hanoitourist Travel Company Phung Quang Thang said that ecotourism sites and destinations lack experiential products which familiarize visitors with environmental protection activities. Besides, ecotourism infrastructure at spots such as Suoi Hai and Ao Vua (Ba Vi district) need to be upgraded.

To promote green tourism, Mr. Nguyen Duc Tung, Deputy Director of the Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development (the Vietnam Association for the Conservation of Nature and Environment), said that the city needs to improve management and encourage investment in ecotourism development.

Deputy General Director of the VNAT Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong suggested that in addition to building the master plan, Hanoi needs to strengthen the guidance for destinations to build green and clean tourist packages; enhance communication among local residents and tourists that civilized tourism behavior is protecting the environment and landscape.