TRAFFIC and VCCI promote sustainability through smart tourism
Ha Noi, Viet Nam, 23rd October 2020—TRAFFIC and the Enterprise Development Foundation at the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) co-sponsored a forum today on how technology could contribute to sustainable tourism in Viet Nam. The event gathered 200 representatives from the country’s tourism sector, now under considerable stress from COVID-19 travel restrictions, who discussed strategies for the long-term survival of tourism in Viet Nam.
The forum featured presentations from local smart tourism stakeholders, including the Department of Tourism and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as experts offering perspectives from France, Belgium, Morocco, and French Polynesia. Presenters provided guidance on building intelligent tourism opportunities and encouraged the leaders of Vietnamese travel companies to adopt sustainable practices, such as taking action against illegal wildlife trade.
“This is a moment of reflection for the global tourism industry, not just in Viet Nam. It’s a time when we need to consider carefully where tourism dollars are going, and ensure they are being directed to environmental protection, local livelihoods, and strategies that will relieve the pressure of human visitors, such as the smart tourism ideas discussed today,” said Sarah Ferguson, Office Director of TRAFFIC in Viet Nam.
Smart tourism offers opportunities to create sustainable tourism products that combine physical and social infrastructure with information and communication technologies, including mobile communications, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. Smart tourism focuses on enhancing tourism experiences, developing and maintaining sustainable tourism opportunities, and improving resource management.
TRAFFIC has engaged in smart tourism technology through its Wildlife Witness App, which was created in partnership with the Taronga Zoo. The app allows tourists and locals to report wildlife trade by taking a photo, pinning the location of an incident, and sending the details to TRAFFIC. TRAFFIC has also partnered with Instagram on a programme that will warn people who hashtag selfies with certain animals about animal exploitation.
Sustainable tourism experienced substantial grown over the past decade and is expected to continue to grow over the next 20 years. A 2016 report from the Centre for Responsible Travel found that responsible travel was outpacing overall growth in the tourism industry, and that 73% of younger generations were willing to pay more for responsible tourism experiences.
The event was part of an ongoing project between TRAFFIC and Save the Rhino International aimed at eradicating illegal wildlife trade from Viet Nam’s tourism industry.
Save the Rhino International
Save the Rhino International is a UK registered charity (no. 1035072), working towards its vision of all five species thriving in the wild. It works to achieve this mission everyday by collaborating with partners across the world.