Sunday, 14/04/2024 15:57

Lào Cai limiting tourism impact on nature

Stilt houses of the Tày ethnic group interspersed among colourful rice fields in Lào Cai. The province is implementing various solutions to minimise the impacts of tourism on the environment. VNA/VNS Photo

LÀO CAI - Lào Cai Province is undertaking a number of measures to safeguard the environment and minimise the impacts of tourism.

In recent years its tourism industry has seen significant development, with the number of tourists and revenues increasing steadily. 

Nghĩa Đô in its Bảo Yên District is one of 12 communes piloting the Rural Tourism Development Programme in 2021-25. 

The programme aims to optimise the benefits of tourism for the community, build rural landscapes, protect the environment, promote economic growth, and build sustainable rural areas.

For many years community-based tourism in Nghĩa Đô Commune has shown potential but has not achieved it fully due to various factors, including environmental concerns.

Lý Văn Nội, chairman of its People's Committee, said besides cultural factors and cuisine, landscapes and environment are also crucial for community-based tourism. 

A clean environment leaves a lasting impression on tourists, he added.

In 2022 the commune collaborated with the Lào Cai Environmental Protection Fund to collect, classify and process household, livestock and slaughter wastes in rural residential areas.

To implement this model, the commune established a self-managed farmers association, which was supported with two electric waste collection vehicles and 20 bins for people to easily classify and discard waste. 

The association regularly visits every household to encourage them to collect and sort waste, adopt proper disposal practices and stop indiscriminate disposal.

In 2023 the Lào Cai Department of Tourism donated 30 bicycles worth over VNĐ100 million to Nghĩa Đô Commune for tourists’ use to reduce the use of personal motor vehicles and pollution.

Nguyễn Thị San of Nà Khương village has decorated the gate of her Bà San homestay with unique indigenous patterns using traditional weaving techniques for the “Beautiful Gate, Green Fence” campaign initiated by the commune that has made an impression on tourists. 

Huỳnh Sơn, a visitor from HCM City, who stayed at Nà Khương village homestay for four days, expressed his desire to return frequently in future due to the clean streams, green fields, fresh air, and tranquility there. 

In 2023 Nghĩa Đô was one of two community-based tourism destinations in Việt Nam to receive the ASEAN Homestay Award.

Lào Cai Province has implemented various measures to prevent environmental degradation caused by tourism, primarily through awareness campaigns.

They are geared towards developing green, sustainable tourism.

Tourists in Tả Van Commune, where community-based tourism homestays are thriving. The province is implementing various solutions to minimise the impacts of tourism on the environment. VNA/VNS Photo

Anh Đức homestay in Tả Van Giáy village, Tả Van Commune, Sa Pa Town, has been reducing plastic waste for many years. 

Vàng Văn Đức, its owner, said he places reusable or biodegradable trash bags in each guestroom. 

In the bathrooms, shampoos and shower gels are supplied in large refillable containers, he said.

All decorative items are made from bamboo, rattan, wood, recycled paper, or reusable materials. 

The Lào Cai Department of Tourism has collaborated with the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment to organise training in minimising environmental pollution caused by plastic waste at production and service establishments in the tourism sector in Sa Pa.

Its tourism development strategy for until 2030 aims to turn the province into a leading destination for natural and adventure sports tourism with green and smart development. 

For this the province focuses on destination management with an appropriate number of visitors to ensure tourism activities have a minimal impact on the landscape and biodiversity. 

Local authorities also promote public awareness of the environment, monitor environmental violations at tourist sites, and implement environmental protection measures, especially in public areas in Sa Pa Town, Lào Cai City and Bắc Hà District. - VNS

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