Delegates experience eco-friendly products used in tourism introduced at the seminar. (Photo: baotainguyenmoitruong.vn)
It was among the topic discussed at a seminar held in Hoi An city, the central province of Quang Nam on September 9, discussing sustainable tourism development under the theme “Tourism without plastic waste.”
Held by the Quang Nam Tourism Association, the event featured a number of key topics, including the importance of sustainable tourism development, promoting green and accessible tourism products in the tourism value chain and creating an innovative startup environment and creative design in tourism.
At the event, delegates said that plastic waste is a global problem, especially in tourist destinations that attract lots of travellers. Quang Nam currently has 629 accommodation establishments, with 13,257 rooms, concentrated mainly in the old town of Hoi An. In recent years, the top tourist attraction has been one of Quang Nam’s pioneers in reducing plastic waste and building a friendly tourism environment with various good examples in waste treatment, especially in local lodging.
Over the past five years, the Sapo Hoi An group has had an effective way to convert about 300 litres of used cooking oil collected from restaurants into kitchen soap products. Since the end of 2018, An Nhien Farm Resort has recycled about 300 kg of disposable soap and 1.5 tonnes of used white towels into useful products, directly reducing the amount of waste discharged into the environment.
Chairman of the Quang Nam Tourism Association, Phan Xuan Thanh, said that reducing plastic waste has been a focus by tourism agencies in Hoi An and with specific actions. In particular, the waste challenge has been turned into opportunities by many travel companies in Hoi An, such as forming the typical tourism products to let tourists join garbage collecting activities in the local tributaries.
However, in order to make breakthroughs in reducing plastic waste, it is necessary to have suppliers and manufacturers of alternative materials use reasonable prices and allow easy access for local people and tourist accommodation establishments.
In recent years, Quang Nam tourism has grown rapidly. By 2020, it is expected that the province will welcome about 8 million tourists and this number will continue to increase sharply as local socio-economic infrastructure and tourism is being upgraded in the near future.
Vice Chairman of the Quang Nam Provincial People’s Committee, Le Tri Thanh, said that the rapid development of tourism in Quang Nam is also accompanied by multiple challenges, as the number of visitors rising in line with the increase in the amount of persistent waste, such as plastic bottles and packaging. Quang Nam has issued an action plan to reduce plastic waste and is being implemented across the locale, he said.
UNESCO Representative in Vietnam, Michael Croft, said that Hoi An has done a good job of preserving and promoting the value of a World Cultural Heritage for tourism development. The local tourism industry needs to continue to lead the way in reducing plastic waste, considering this as both a goal and a priority to preserve the heritage for future generations, Croft suggested.
At the workshop, there are also exhibits and introduction of eco-friendly products used in tourism, green-sustainable tourism models and art exhibitions on the topic of environment, as well as field trips to experience green and sustainable tourism products and services in Quang Nam.
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