Need to improve tourism’s adaptation of Central Vietnam to climate change
25/04/2016 14:42:19

In order to improve the capacity to respond to climate change for the sector of tourism, the European Union together with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has conducted the project "Environmentally and socially responsible tourism capacity development programme" (the EU project). In the framework of this project, on April 22 2016, in Hoi An, Project Management Board organized a seminar entitled "Climate Change and Tourism: Risks and Opportunities" to share research results about impacts of climate change on tourism, analysis of risks and opportunities posed by climate change, as well as preparing the foundation to produce the handbook for "Good practices for the sustainable development of Vietnam tourism against climate change in the Central coast region."


Mr. Peter Burns presents at the seminar


Presenting at the seminar, Mr. Peter Burns, an international expert of the EU project emphasized the importance of COP21 in accelerating the efficiency of climate change adaptation, and enhancing the cooperation as well as financial, technical support between developed countries and developing countries. Human's demand for tourism is huge, about 1 billion turns of travelling, while climate change is complicated, severely affecting tourism activities, particularly the increase of high temperature, frequency of heavy rain, drought, the frequency and intensity of storms and high tides. Besides, he also showed a number of problems that still exist in resolving consequences of climate change on the environment:

  1. There are few assessments about the vulnerability of tourism to climate change. 
  2. There are no reports about the baseline for carbon footprint of tourism.
  3. There are no framework of management for Tourism - Climate.
  4. The capacity of climate change adaptation with community engagement is not strengthened yet.
  5. There are few activities to raise people working on tourism's awareness of actions that need to be conducted to enhance adaptation.
  6. There is less cross-sectoral, inter-agency and inter-ministry coorperation.
  7. The role of tourism in raising awareness of resilience against climate change (especially the issue regarding natural environment conservation and protection) is not clearly mentioned.


The seminar on the progress


Agreeing to Peter Burns's consideration, representatives of hotels, resorts in Hoi An, said climate change does exist, and can be clearly seen through many changes of the weather, for example, it's very warm while it's is still in April, seriously affecting tourism activities. Specifically, the hot weather lowers the demand for travel of tourists, then reducing travel companies' and service providers' revenue. Besides, coastal erosion at Cua Dai Beach, which is considered a gem of Hoi An acient city, also affects the operation of hotels and resorts in the area.


At the discussion session, stakeholders from departments and agencies took turn to give their opions and recommendations related to current situations and operation of tourism sector under the context of climate change. Specifically:

-        Mr. Nguyen Nhu Cong, Director of Quang Nam’s Management Board of Construction Investment, said that management of coastal areas as well as investment projects for sustainable development of tourism in coastal areas is still limited. There are about 60 km of coastal line of the province where no project has been taken to support its management. He assumed that the province need to promote the collaboration with local businesses to seek for more investments in the upcoming time.

-        Mr. Tran Chi Cuong – Vice Director of Da Nang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism emphasized that tourism sector is still facing many risks and difficulties in operation, and is a vulnerable sector to climate change. Besides, awareness of climate change impacts among this sector is not high, and there is lack of materials related to climate change which can be used for tourism education. He recognized the importance of sector-linkage and locality-linkage in implementation of solutions to respond to and mitigate climate change impacts on tourism in particular.

-        Mr. Vo Nhu Toan, Deputy Head of Quang Nam Hydrometeorology Division, said thanks to the efforts of Quang Nam gorvernment recently, Quang Nam people’s awareness of climate change has been increased. Many activities regarding climate change have also been conducted in the whole province. Besides, Quang Nam is gradually conducting assessment of climate change impacts on each sector and each area of the province.


Declaring the end of the seminar, Mr. Ho Tan Cuong, Vice Director of Quang Nam Department of of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said he would like Management Board and experts of the EU project to collect and integrate all of the suggestions and recommendations of seminar attendees into assessment and implementation of the project in the upcoming time.


                                                                                                                                    Phuong Linh


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