This is the 4th course in the total of 6 training courses for local tourism management agencies to strengthen management capacity, promote responsible tourism activities in accommodation facilities, leading up to green tourism and sustainable development.
The training course had the attendances of Deputy Director of Hotel Department (VNAT) Vu Van Thanh; General Secretary of Viet Nam Hotel Association, expert of EU Project Le Mai Khanh; representatives of Department of Science - Technology and Environment (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism - MoCST), Viet Nam Environment Administration (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment); and officials of Departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Ha Noi, Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Hoa Binh, Lai Chau, Lao Cai and Phu Tho.
At the training course, Ms. Le Mai Khanh presented the set of criteria of Green Lotus Sustainable Tourism Label for tourism accommodation facilities in Viet Nam. Green Lotus Sustainable Tourism Label is conferred on accommodation facilities that meet the standards on protecting environment; using efficiently resources and energy; preserving heritage, developing local economy, culture and society and pursuing sustainable tourism development. The set of criteria of Green Lotus Label consists of 81 criteria with 154 points and 25 bonus points, dividing into three levels: basic level, encouraging level and high level.
With the goal of creating a better living environment for local people and better attractions for tourists, accommodation facilities need towards green business in tourism development. The organization of responsible tourism activities in accommodation facilities contributes to protecting environment, increasing competitiveness of accommodations in Viet Nam.
Also at the training course, Mr. Vu Van Thanh provided overview information about ASEAN Green Hotel’s standards. The standards established by ASEAN member countries in 2006 to promote the integration of the member countries, particularly in the tourism sector, towards building ASEAN Economic Community by the end of 2015. ASEAN Green Hotel is environmental friendly hotels implementing energy saving measures. In 2013 – 2014 period, Viet Nam had 10 accommodations in 6 province and cities awarded the titles “ASEAN Green Hotel”. These are the typical hotels, which received the certificate of Green Lotus Sustainable Tourism Label with 4 or 5 green lotuses.
Based on current state of environment in Viet Nam and impacts of tourism development on environment, some solutions to maximize economic and social benefits for local community and minimize negative impacts on cultural heritage and environment were also suggested such as: planing sustainable development in tourism areas; improving tourism environmental management and protection capacity for managers; enhance the participation of local communities in responsible tourism activities; building coordination mechanism between VNAT and Viet Nam Environment Administration to localities…
In the framework of the training course, on 3 April 2015, trainees had the fact-finding trip in Intercontinental Hanoi Hotel, which received 5 Green Lotuses to exchange experience of sustainable development.