The Putaleng Long Distance Paragliding Tournament 2023 kicked off last week at Tam Dương District Stadium in the northern province of Lai Châu. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Oanh

Adventure tourism is increasingly popular around the world and attractive to those who love trying new exciting experiences. With diverse terrain, Việt Nam is a haven for developing this type of tourism, but safety still needs to be given the top priority.

Identified as an important type of travel, adventure tourism had a global market value of about US$324.9 billion in 2022, and the figure is predicted to hit $2 trillion by 2032, Bloomberg cited a forecast of market research firm Allied Market Research.

Home to many mountains, hills, caves, rivers and springs, Việt Nam boasts huge potential for adventure tourism, said Nguyễn Anh Tuấn, Director of the Institute for Tourism Development Research (ITDR) under the Việt Nam National Authority of Tourism at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Adventure tourism itself includes several sub-types such as air-based (helicopter tours, paragliding, parachuting), land-based (camping, mountaineering, trekking, rock climbing), and water-based (kayaking, waterfall exploration and diving).

Many provinces and cities such as the northern localities Hà Giang, Bắc Kạn, Lào Cai, Lai Châu, Quảng Ninh, Quảng Bình and Nghệ An in the central region, or the capital city Hà Nội, have crafted strategies for developing adventure tourism.

In the northeastern and northwestern regions, a number of adventure tours have been launched, including tours of Mount Fansipan in Lào Cai Province, Mount Bạch Mộc Lương Tử in Lai Châu Province, Mount Tây Côn Lĩnh in Hà Giang Province, Bản Giốc Waterfalls in Cao Bằng Province, and Ba Bể National Park in Bắc Kạn Province.

In Hà Nội, the management board of Ba Vì National Park has offered a mountaineering tour of this park for many years. Meanwhile, outstanding products of adventure travel in the central region include tours of caves in Quảng Bình Province and tours of Mount Pu Xai Lai Leng in Nghệ An Province.

The love of challenging oneself

Many people who love adventure tourism want to try mountaineering, exploring caves or paragliding, among others, to merge themselves with nature and gain the feeling of having conquered their fears.

“Trekking provides challenges and a sense of freedom. I can spend time in nature, have more friends sharing the same interest with me during challenging journeys, and equip myself with more survival skills in life,” said Duc Hieu, a 24-year-old man who has hiked for five years.

Thu Quỳnh, 24, trekked slopes, forests and streams to reach the peak of Lào Thẩn (Nhìu Cồ San) in 2021.

Quỳnh said she was completely satisfied as mountain climbing was extremely tiring but once reaching the peak, it was rewarding. Standing on the top of a mountain, she felt she could merge with nature, with the fresh air, the bright sun, and a sea of drifting clouds there.

In its Decree 168/ND-CP, dated December 31, 2017, the Government issued regulations on measures ensuring safety for travellers who use tourism products posing risks to their lives and health. In 2018, the national standards on adventure tourism were also released.

In particular, the Việt Nam tourism development strategy until 2030, approved by the Prime Minister on January 22, 2020, listed adventure sports tourism among key tourism products of the country.

Travelers need to adhere to the rules on adventure tours, while tour guides must be provided with training to ensure safety for all visitors. In addition, authorities need to closely supervise and conduct frequent inspection to ensure that businesses and staff members comply with legal regulations and technical standards of adventure tourism products, according to the ITDR.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism requested the provincial-level People’s Committees coordinate with relevant agencies to support sustainable tourism that features professional service, competitive prices, a clean environment, and destinations that are safe, civilised and friendly.

Vũ Thế Bình, Chairman of the Việt Nam Tourism Association, said standards on adventure tourism are now in place, but the important thing is how to effectively apply them in reality. To do that, the National Authority of Tourism needs to monitor the development and progress of adventure tourism around the country to keep things safe and in check. — VNS