In recent years, the type of SAVE Tourism has begun to be implemented in Vietnam, bringing positive values to local communities at the destinations.
A charity tour to a school in a mountainous locality organised by Vietravel
According to experts, this form of tourism should be promoted to strengthen the foundation for responsible tourism,contributing to the sustainable development of tourism.
In SAVE Tourism, SAVE is the make-up of the first letters of four words: Scientific, Academic, Volunteer and Education.
Thus, SAVE Tourism is known as a tourism form in association with scientific, academic, voluntary and educational activities.
Participants will be scientists, experts, volunteers and studentswho want to research and study indigenous culture to raise their awareness and experience for themselves, while acting as volunteers to bring practical benefits to local community.
Different from other tourism forms, SAVE Tourism creates interactions between tourists and destinations through responsible actions on the basis of promoting natural and humane values.
Therefore, this is considered as the foundation to promote responsible tourism as well as the direction of many countries, towards the sustainable development of the sector.
In the context of technology 4.0 as life has become more and more stressful, visitors are likely to visit local cultural destinations with a slow pace of life and without worries and fuss.
Therefore, SAVE Tourism has been assessed to have many potentials for development. Several countries around the world, such as Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal and South Africa, have put this type into their action programme for national tourism development, with a long-term vision.
In many countries, SAVE Tourism has been implemented in the form of providing medical support, medical examination, techniques and scientific advances serving for tourism as well as raising public awareness of environmental protection and training indigenous tour guides.
In Vietnam, SAVE Tourism appeared with voluntary and charitable tours to remote areas to help people living in difficult circumstances, to support homestays and to develop community tourism.
V.E.O (Volunteer for Education Organisation) has organised many volunteer tourism projects in over ten provinces around the country, mainly northern localities such as Phu Tho, Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Tuyen Quang, Lang Son, Cao Bang and Ha Giang. The projects have contributed to developing community tourism.
However, the concept of SAVE Tourism in Vietnam is still quite new. Experts have said that Vietnam should pay much attention to developing this tourism type, particularly in the context ofthere being few tourism products and tourism activities leaving negative impacts on environment.
The development of SAVE Tourism will not only create benefits to destinations and attracting more responsible visitors but also help extending the time tourists stay because SAVE tours often take place for one or two weeks, even a month.
Dr. Nguyen Duc Thang from Vietnam Fine Arts Museum affirmed that as Vietnam considers tourism as a major and spearhead industry for economic development, the promotion of SAVE Tourism to attract visitors who want to voluntarily apply science, education and academy into the development of destinations is necessary.
With mountains covering three quarters of Vietnam’s area and 54 ethnic groups with diverse culture, it is not difficult to select destinations for SAVE Tourism.
The mountainous, island and rural regions can meet the demands for research and exploitation activities and field trips on various fields, includinganthropology, archeology, linguistics, conservation biology, arts,culture and ethnography, as well as needs of sharing knowledge and developing projects.
However, State management agencies should set strategic guidelines on tourism, while recognising the core benefits that this tourism type bringing to the localities,travel businesses and tourists.
Managers, enterprises, educational, scientific and voluntary organisations, along with households and individuals in destinations should closely joinhands to develop tourism products that have high cultural values as well as can preserve natural resources, contributing to boosting positive impacts and gradually increasing the values of destinations. Nhan Dan