Travel to Vietnam - an Impressionable Footprint; Company Launches Community Based Tourism Product
Footprint Vietnam Travel is a responsible tour operator, Community Based Tourism (CBT) is one of their responsible tourism products. They just launched a CTB tour in Sapa (Lao Cai - Vietnam)
Hanoi, Vietnam (PRWEB) August 13, 2007 -- Footprint is a local tour operator based in Hanoi. They focus on designing custom tour packages providing unique experiences to travel Vietnam. Footprint envisions a way of travel, which is responsible, ethical, and sustainable. The way travel should be.
Footprint Vietnam has also taken a leadership role in defining the Community Based Tourism (CBT) product. Working with partners from the community level up, Footprint has embraced grassroots efforts in order to create the example and is confident it will be successful.
Tourism has played a contentious role in the famous mountain town of Sapa because of its natural beauty and cultural diversity. In order to minimize the shortfalls and increase the tourism benefits in the area, Footprint has worked with CBT Development projects and the village leaders of Taphin to create a product that aligns with the notion of responsible travel.
The new product is still the ordinary trek into a hilltribe village with a night in a traditional homestay. But, in this case the community is part of the product. Careful planning has been implemented in order to find ways to equally spread the economic benefits. For example, a rotation plan for the homestays, and possible cultural performances being offered. Even the possibility of staying in one homestay but eating at another has been proposed.
Taphin is home to the Dao ethnic minority. The Dao exhibit a high amount of cultural pride and are enthusiastic not only to share a little bit of their culture with the visitor, but also to be active in every part of the tourism product. This includes cooking, interpretation, and genuine customer service.
The product itself is more than coming to the village with a camera for an interesting experience and to see a new culture. The product is a shared event between host, visitor and tour provider. Everyone is engaged, learning and participating. The tourist is encouraged to wake up early and do some work in the fields. The guides are often found with the Dao husbands learning something new. And the children are constantly teaching the tourists new Dao words.
Taphin Village, Sapa was chosen five years ago by a CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) funded project that uses CBT as a vehicle to reduce poverty. Now in the final year of the project the villagers have taken part in capacity building training in homestay development, food safety, first aid, and English. Get more information at cbtvietnam.com.