Viet Nam: TRAFFIC partners with local tourism organisation to counter wildlife crime
Ha Noi, Viet Nam, 13th January 2019 — TRAFFIC has signed a memorandum of understanding with the UNESCO Hanoi Travel Club (UHTC), creating a partnership aimed at reducing wildlife crime in the country’s tourism sector. The UHTC has agreed to work with TRAFFIC to encourage its membership of more than 300 local tourist agencies to adopt wildlife-focused corporate responsibility (CSR) to combat the trade of illegal wildlife products, which are often marketed to tourists in Viet Nam.
“By enacting CSR policies that incorporate wildlife protection, local tourist agencies can set themselves apart from the competition and make their businesses more profitable. Easy-to-implement CSR policies, such as having clients sign a pledge not to consume illegal wildlife products while on a tour, can have a real impact on illegal wildlife consumption while strengthening a company’s brand,” said Truong Quoc Hung, chairman of the UHTC.
The MOU was signed at a UHTC general meeting, which brought together around 150 of its members and other representatives from tourism agencies in Viet Nam and China. Fostering co-operation between the countries’ tourism sectors was a key theme at the event, which culminated in plans to create a platform through which Vietnamese and Chinese travel agencies could exchange advice on green tourism and sustainable growth.
“It is more important than ever before for tourism companies in both Viet Nam and China to take a leadership role in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade. That is what UHTC has done by signing this MOU, and we look forward to the creation of more partnerships that will help end wildlife crime in this sector,” said Sarah Ferguson, director of TRAFFIC in Viet Nam.
TRAFFIC research has identified illegal wildlife products on offer at tourist hotspots in Viet Nam, particularly those catering to Chinese tour groups. It is hoped that with increased awareness and cross-border coordination, tourism agencies can help end this practice.
The MOU is part of an ongoing project from TRAFFIC and Save the Rhino International directed at eradicating illegal wildlife trade from tourist hubs in Viet Nam.