Ethical Travel in Vietnam

Dec 21 2023

Ethical travel in Vietnam involves making conscious and sustainable choices that minimize negative impacts on the environment and support local communities and economies. Here are some tips for ethical travel in Vietnam:

Ethical travel in Vietnam involves making mindful and sustainable choices that benefit both the environment and local communities, while also enriching your travel experience.

Generally speaking, it is difficult for a traveller to do enough due diligence on a tour operator and be informed about the operator’s sustainability credentials. In these days of “greenwashing”, big corporations go to great lengths and expense to convince consumers of their “goodness”. Well, it’s very hard for a giant to tread gently through a forest and not stomp on a few forest animals and devasted large swaths of the forest. Even the gentlest of giants. So, avoid the international brands and go local. That applies to everything you spend money. Big food chains and franchises will engage in bulk purchasing and aggressive contracting to squeeze their suppliers and ship food great distances. Big consumer goods, big hotel chains are the same. So it is with big brand tour operators. They use the leverage of their big volume to squeeze the suppliers to barely making a living Collude and set anti competitive prices to block out other players, use anti-competitive, trade restraining contracts to strangle all the local suppliers, contractors who do the real hard work without much rewards. It’s the equivalent of the slave labour sweatshops in the rag trade, all the while getting on their high horses on morning TV making claims about how they are saving the world and provide employment for the masses. Well employment for payment below the poverty line is hardly payment. And economic leakages from third world countries into the pockets of first world capitalists is just a new form of colonialism.

Go small. Go local. Even if these locals appear to not be “sustainable”, their carbon footprint, and yours, will be way smaller than a corporate giant making pretences about being your BFG.

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