Traveling to a foreign country is a privilege of the wealthy. Footprint Travel thinks that we can minimize our impacts by respecting the local customs, beliefs and society. Together, we can make a difference!
- By using locally produced goods and services, you can contribute financially to the community you are visiting and help turn tourism to the country’s benefit.
- Drink and eat local food when you can.
- Use local transport and local shops.
- Try to avoid paying for simple acts of kindness in cash - for example, being given directions.
- Hire a local guide when visiting protected areas or historical sites. This way you will contribute to the local economy, learn more about the area.
Giving money or gifts
- Giving money away to both children and adults promotes a begging mentality and culture.
- Avoid giving children money or gifts, it is better to pay for a postcard, map, or a shoeshine.
- Giving chocolate or sweets is a bad idea, as many people do not have access to dentists and knowledge of dental hygiene is poor.
The hard sell
- Vietnam is developing country, and one that has experienced a long period of war so poverty is obvious and unavoidable.
- If a street seller approaches you, be firm but polite and calm in turning them away, even if you are irritated by a day filled with similar approaches.
- Take a cyclo when you can, as they are a great way to see a city and view street life at close quarters. Cyclos today are losing out to taxis and xe om (motorbike taxis), so you’ll also be supporting a threatened trade.
- Negotiate prices in advance before accepting either goods from street sellers, or getting on a xe om or into a cycle.
The sex trade
- In Asia, prostitution is an unfortunate fact of life. Be aware that prostitution is illegal in Vietnam.
- Don’t buy sexual services, remember that the relationship between tourists and prostitutes is almost always unequal and tends to be exploitative.