TRAFFIC brings hospitality enterprises together to stop illegal wildlife trade
Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 9:32
TRAFFIC in Behaviour change, In Asia

Hanoi: nine businesses today signed pledges to adopt wildlife protection into their CSR policies © TRAFFIC Hanoi, Viet Nam, 14th December 2016—Nearly 50 representatives from hotel and tourism enterprises were equipped with the tools to adopt corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies that reject the consumption of illegally traded wildlife at a workshop in Hanoi today.

The workshop facilitated by TRAFFIC, the Institute for Tourism Development Research (ITDR), and the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) recruited businesses in the hospitality sector to become champions against wildlife crime.

Representatives of the nine businesses attending signed pledges to adopt wildlife protection into their CSR policies and integrate messages for protecting wildlife into their activities. The participants received a CSR guide, developed in partnership with VCCI, and training to facilitate the adoption of socially responsible policies throughout their business practices.

“TRAFFIC is empowering different sectors in Viet Nam to lead the fight against illegal wildlife trade and consumption and this is the first workshop with a prime focus on the hospitality industry,” said Madelon Willemsen, Head of TRAFFIC’s Viet Nam office.

“We know consumer tourism takes place in Viet Nam and hotels and tourism companies are uniquely suited to promote zero-tolerance towards illegal wildlife consumption—they are experts at customer relations and they interact with hundreds of thousands of international and national tourists every year.”

“Businesses in the hospitality sector can now join the thousands of other businesses in Viet Nam in the fight against illegal wildlife trade by encouraging their guests to be responsible tourists.”

© TRAFFIC Through the Chi Initiative, TRAFFIC and partner organizations have actively engaged with more than 7,000 businesses in Viet Nam, creating ‘Chi Champions’ who are now spreading the message to shift consumer behaviour away from trafficked wildlife products.

The workshop focussed on the reputational risks businesses face regarding any association with illegal wildlife trade and consumption practices. Participants learned about the latest developments in wildlife trafficking in Viet Nam and world-wide and about the updated penal code in Viet Nam that will come into effect in 2017, under which harsher criminal penalties will be imposed on individuals and businesses implicated in the illegal trade or consumption of wildlife.

Delegates brainstormed ways to mitigate risks and create an action plan to integrate wildlife protection into their policies and practices. CSR was put forward as a key tool to enhance a company’s reputation while reducing the risk of being complicit in wildlife crimes and participants where trained on how CSR can be integrated throughout their business practices.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, Director of ITDR said, “Hospitality enterprises face many potential risks from illegal wildlife consumption. This workshop was a great chance to enhance knowledge and engage hospitality enterprises to adopt zero tolerance towards illegal wildlife consumption. ITDR is committed to sustainable and legal tourist development. After the workshop, we can develop an action plan where ITDR and businesses in the hospitality sector can co-operate and integrate wildlife protection into their CSR policies.”  

The workshop, funded by Peace Parks, is a component of TRAFFIC’s demand reduction strategy of encouraging businesses throughout Viet Nam to become leaders in their respective fields by adopting CSR policies that reject the consumption of threatened protected wildlife. Companies who sent representatives to the meeting were:

1.      Hanoi tourist Travel company – Mr. Luu Duc Ke, Director
2.      Hongai Tours company – Ms. Luong Thi Bich, Director
3.      Vidotour  company – Ms. Cao Quoc Chung, Vice Director
4.      Saigon tourism company – Ms. Truong Thi Minh Huong
5.      Thang Long Opera Hotel – Mr. Cao Hai Anh (Sales Director)
6.      Hotel Nikko Hanoi – Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong Minh
7.      Eviva Tour Vietnam – Ms. Nguyen Thi Thuy Duong (Vice Director- President of Responsible Travel Club)
8.      Tien Phong Travel – Mr. Dinh Long Tuan (Vice Director)
9.      UB tour company – Mr. The Anh

For further information, contact:

Ms. Trinh Nguyen, Senior Programme Officer for TRAFFIC in Viet Nam
Email: trinh.nguyen@traffic.org

Mr. Nikolas Veinot, Communications Officer for TRAFFIC in Viet Nam
Email: nikolas.veinot@traffic.org

About TRAFFIC
TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, works to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature. TRAFFIC is a strategic alliance of IUCN and WWF. www.traffic.org

About ITDR
The Institute for Tourism Development Research (ITDR) is an affiliate of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Established in 1988, ITDR was created to research and outline strategies for the management and development of tourism in Viet Nam.

About VCCI
Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) is an organization that represents and protects legitimate benefits of business communities. VCCI has a network of branches, representing offices and members nationwide.

Article originally appeared on TRAFFIC (http://www.traffic.org/).
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