Environmental protection associates with sustainable tourism development
– Possessing rich resources, many scenic spots and historical relics, Lang Son is now an attractive destination attracting domestic and international tourists. With the increasing number of visitors, environmental protection at tourist destinations has been focused by Party committees and authorities at all levels with many practical solutions.
Lang Son currently has 335 historical and revolutionary relics, more than 300 unique traditional festivals accessed via a convenient transportation system… These are the great advantages of the province in tourism development. However, the increase in tourist arrivals goes with the environmental consequences.
Mr. Nguyen Phuc Ha, Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said: “Over the years, our sector has implemented solutions for sustainable tourism development associated with environmental protection. In particular, we focused on building green tourism products, propagandizing to raise awareness of the Party committees, local authorities, people and visitors about waste and wastewater treatment, landscape preservation, building of green, clean and beautiful environment according to the Norm of Polite Tourism Behaviors.”
Volunteers and officials of agencies and units participating in waste collection and treatment at Mau Son tourist area
Recognizing the importance of environmental protection for the development of the tourism industry, the sector of Culture, Sports and Tourism has advised the Provincial Tourism Development Steering Committee to include the “Tourism Development Project in Lang Son Province to 2030” solutions to improve the tourism environment. In which, it attaches the responsibility of local authorities in improving the tourism environment; developing a program to propagate and educate the community’s cultural behavior towards tourists and protecting tourism resources and environment; application of green technology, clean technology in hotels and tourist areas. At the same time, it mobilizes socializing funding and support budget to build standard toilets in tourist areas and spots.
To carry out the above tasks, since 2017, the Culture, Sports and Tourism sector has sent guiding documents to the People’s Committees of districts and city to implement the Norm of Polite Tourism Behaviors. In particular, it clearly states that tourists, travel agencies, guides and accommodation establishments needed to be conscious of environmental protection, avoid causing negative impacts on the landscape. Annually, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism establishes an interdisciplinary inspection team to check the activities at accommodation establishments and tourist attractions. According to the assessment of the sector, over 90% of accommodation establishments and business units strictly comply with the regulations.
Along with that, the Culture, Sports and Tourism sector regularly cooperates with the Natural resources – Environment sector in consulting and assessing the environmental impacts of projects in tourist areas and destinations. In particular, the sector has advised the Provincial People’s Committee to complete the facilities at tourist sites and attractions, including the public toilet system. As a result, in the period of 2015 – 2020, there are 20 public toilet areas built in tourist areas and attractions meeting standards to serve tourists; initially contributing to improving environmental sanitation and meeting the minimum service needs of tourists.
Mr. Ngo Van Trung, a tourist from Viet Tri, Phu Tho said: “Every the first lunar month of the year, I bring my family to Lang Son for pagodas. We notice that the work of environmental sanitation in temples and pagodas is getting better and better. The campus is clean inside and outside, even the parking lot has a trash can. Toilets are well arranged and clean.”
Volunteers participating in garbage collection at Mau Son tourist area, Loc Binh district
According to the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in the province, there are currently 47 tourist spots and areas recognized by the Provincial People’s Committee, all of which are supported with funding for equipping trash cans and installing signposts. In which, many tourist destinations have proactively taken measures to protect the environment, typically Mau Son tourist area, Loc Binh district. Mr. Nguyen Minh Chuyen, Head of Mau Son Tourist Area Management Division, Provincial Tourism Promotion Information Center said: “Every week, Mau Son has about 8 blocks of waste left by tourists. We have arranged 33 public garbage bins, organized daily garbage collection, processed them before Saturday every week. In particular, on peak occasions, the Culture, Sports and Tourism sector has coordinated to mobilize the youth union members of a number of departments, sectors, local youth members and business and service establishments in the area to collect and clean the environment before and after the event.
On the other hand, People’s Committees of districts and city have promulgated and implemented relatively well environmental protection regulations in most tourist sites, attractions and monuments. Ms. Pham Thi Thuan, Deputy Head of Culture and Information Division of Lang Son city said: “The city currently has 15 tourist attractions that have been recognized by the Provincial People’s Committee. In order to ensure the beauty of the monuments, the City Monuments Management Board has arranged over 50 trash cans at the relic sites, assigned environmental cleaning teams to rotate the cleaning up and ensure environmental sanitation. In particular, from 2019 to now, we have published the Norm of Behaviors at tourist attractions, and at the same time, we planted trees and renovated the landscape at tourist attractions such as the Mac Dynasty Citadel, Tam Thanh, Nhi Thanh cave and Fairy Pagoda.
In addition, solid waste collection activities in tourist areas and spots are also focused. Currently, 90% of business and service establishments in the province have committed to environmental protection, including the collection and treatment of solid waste; 100% of accommodation and catering businesses are committed to ensuring food hygiene and safety and strictly follow them. Many large-scale tourist service businesses such as Vinpearl hotel, Muong Thanh hotel… have invested in public sanitation works, wastewater, solid waste collection and treatment systems,; using energy-saving, environment-friendly equipment, contributing to reducing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions…
With the efforts of the Party Committees, authorities at all levels, functional branches and the cooperation of the community at tourist destinations, it is hoped that environmental protection associated with tourism development will create positive effects. Thereby, it contributes to building a safe, friendly and civilized image of Lang Son tourism.