Who We Are
Who is VRT – Vietnam Responsible Tourism?
A social enterprise that associates different community-based tourism (CBT) groups with the aim to improve living conditions in remote mountain regions of Vietnam. In order to achieve this goal, VRT has developed a responsible tourism model that utilizes local natural and cultural resources and values.
To be a reliable provider of first hand CBT-aligned travel solutions.
To become Vietnam’s premier CBT agency assisting the local community in promoting their business performance through excellent travel service operation while offering enriching and authentic travel experiences for visitors.
- CLIENT SATISFACTION AND WELL-BEING:
We offer our clients services that will maximize their benefits and bring them the highest satisfaction.
- DEVELOPING PEOPLE:
Our team and local communities receive regular training and are offered various opportunities to realize their full potential.
- CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT:
We constantly update ourselves to the latest changes and state-of-the-art approaches and technologies.
We ensure security of information of our clients in all tasks we carry out.
- SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY:
We commit to sustainable development of our local communities by applying our best skills, knowledge and resources to help create better-off communities.
How We Work
How VRT works?
We maintain the effective operation of CBT groups invested by HELVETAS Vietnam / CRED in Ha Giang and Cao Bang provinces through market chain development, coordination, quality control and customer care. We make sure that these CBT groups offer good services and achieve sufficient revenues from tourism to be shared in a fair manner among the local communities
- We are aiming to become the leading platform to support CBT development in Northern Vietnam and in remaining areas of Vietnam.
- VRT’s CBT social enterprises can self-finance after the third year by selling CBT services and packages to TOs / FIT, offering CBT business training station, consultancy services and through the collection of CBT member fees.
- Destination Management: CBT research and development plans, CBT training and consultancy, Quality control.
- Sale: CBT booking platform, Marketing, CBT FAM trips
- Click HERE for details
What is Responsible Tourism?
Responsible tourism seeks to maximise positive economic, environmental and social impacts and to minimise negative ones. The Cape Town Declaration recognizes that Responsible Tourism is also characterized by tourism which:
- Generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry.
- Involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances.
- Makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world’s diversity.
- Provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues.
- Provides access for physically challenged people.
- Is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.
Especially the involvement of the local host community is central to the concept of responsible tourism. It logically implicates the implementation of CBT (community-based tourism) in economically disadvantaged regions.
Cape Town Declaration
Global Code of Ethics for Tourism by UNWTO (World Tourism Organisation)
- Responsible tourism benefits the local community
While profits from mass tourism mainly flow back to international companies, responsible tourism benefits the local community through a very high local value added. Those who are directly involved get fair remuneration, while those who are not directly involved benefit through the improvements within the community such as higher hygiene standards, construction of communal facilities etc. through the community fund.
- Responsible tourism empowers the local people
Involvement of the local people in decision-making is crucial to empower the community. The local people are free to decide if and how they want to allow tourism in their village. Through the implementation of participatory democracy principles, each person has a voice and the right to decide about how tourism affects their own life. It additionally boosts the awareness of self-determination.
- Responsible tourism helps preserve the culture
Through the interest of a responsible traveller in local culture and customs, the community is inspired to keep them alive. Local people learn about the importance and uniqueness of their cultural heritage and are motivated to preserve it. Passing on the traditional knowledge to the next generation is seen to be very important.
- Responsible tourism helps conserve the environment
Every traveller leaves an environmental impact, which is a fact. Everyone has a responsibility to reduce their individual carbon footprint, and there are many ways to do so. Besides doing so, carrying reusable water bottles, avoiding plastic bags, walking instead of driving whenever possible and respecting the natural resources are other ways to keep that impact low. But how does responsible tourism help conserve the environment? The stunning landscape attracts responsible travellers. They come into close contact with nature through hiking, cycling tours and canoeing. This confrontation may raise the awareness of the value of nature for travellers and the community and may lead to environmentally conscious behaviour and activities to preserve the environment.
- Responsible tourism provides jobs for locals, including young and women
Responsible tourism focuses on local structures. By buying local food, handicraft and using small shops for their daily goods the responsible traveller supports the local community. Local guides, translators, drivers and cooks not only share their culture and expertise with the responsible traveller but also earn a fair income, which they re-invest in the local economy. The young are motivated to improve their English skills to get a job and stay in their village. Women are empowered through the possibility to offer their house as a homestay, are experts in local cuisine and know traditional handicraft, which makes them proud and more independent.
- Responsible tourism connects people and fosters cross-cultural learning
The intensive encounter of responsible travellers and the local community gives a great opportunity to experience and learn about the local life. Hands-on activities lead to appreciation of the daily work like rice harvesting, traditional fishing or tea picking. In exchange, responsible travellers can bring in their qualifications, be it English skills, knowledge in business development, technical or other skills. Volunteering can also be an important and inspiring way to give back, rather than simply take.
- Responsible tourism experiences are unique
Helping with the exhausting rice harvest and the processing, for example, provides a unique and deep insight into the daily life of many local people. Furthermore, some nights in a typical homestay can be a good chance to exchange about culture, politics, lifestyle and family. This experience is likely to change the responsible traveller’s mind. It is authentic and not substitutable and raises the traveller’s sensitivity to the host culture.
Guide for responsible travellers
What is CBT ?
Community-based Tourism (CBT) actively involves the local community in planning and decision-making. Participatory democracy for the touristic development of the community is essential for a sustainable approach. The goal is to sustainably create better places for people to live and for people to visit.
Main aims of CBT in ethnic minority communities:
- Empower the community to plan and decide about the touristic development
- Preserve and respect local culture and traditions
- Foster capacity building & education
- Protect the environment
- Create employment
- Gender equality & equality for disadvantaged (ethnic minorities)
- Raise awareness for protection of culture and nature
- Combat the sexual exploitation of human beings, particularly the exploitation of children
CBT vs. Mass Tourism
|Community-Based Tourism||Mass Tourism|
|COMMUNITY is empowered||
|SUSTAINABLE development, long term focus.||
|CONSERVATION of the environment||
|TOURISM not only source of income||
|ECONOMIC benefits for the community||
|IMPROVEMENT of skills of community||
|PRESERVATION of culture||
|GENDER equality through inclusion||
|FAIR price for services||
|chance for communities in remote areas||
|youth gets prospects for future||
|participation of tourists is desired||
|experience is unique||
|slow and sustainable approach||
© by CBT NETWORK VIETNAM!!
Tourism will never be 100% sustainable, as every industry has a certain impact, but it can lead in the right direction. Economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable development must include the interests of all stakeholders including indigenous people, local communities, visitors, industry and government.
Further information on CBT