Opening of the workshop, VNAT‘s Vice Chairman Nguyen Le Phuc said that Vietnam has integrated into ASEAN tourism in a long and continuous process over the past 27 years. Vietnam tourism activities contribute positively to maintaining intra-regional solidarity, strengthening cooperation among member countries as well as between ASEAN and external partners. Comprehensive and deep integration with ASEAN is also a way for Vietnam to participate in global integration more and more strongly.
In order to make ASEAN a quality destination and improve the competitiveness of ASEAN tourism, recently, ASEAN countries have focused on building common tourism standards in two groups. They are skills standards to improve the quality of service provision of tourism workers and related standards, supporting the improvement of product and destination quality. This is a very good approach to improve the quality of tourism products and services of ASEAN in general through collective efforts, minimizing costs for each member country.
For Vietnam, in addition to actively participating in the process of building occupational standards for workers as well as tourism service standards, Vietnam tourism industry has been gradually applying these standards to improve the quality of tourism services and in harmony with the common level in the ASEAN region.
Every year, based on the ASEAN Tourism Standards, Vietnam selects and nominates excellent organizations, businesses, destinations, individuals to receive ASEAN Tourism Awards on the occasion of the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF).
Today’s workshop was organized to exchange experiences on sustainable financial mechanisms. Solutions and proposals from the workshop will be widely disseminated nationwide to research and apply, depending on the conditions, situation, and context of each facility, each locality, and each region.
Presenting the topic “Sustainable financial mechanism for promotion, assessment and certification activities of ASEAN Tourism Standards”, Ms. Nguyen Thanh Binh – Deputy Director of Hospitality Industry Management Division (under VNAT), said that ASEAN member countries have agreed to develop ASEAN Tourism Standards to standardize the region’s tourism services, building ASEAN into a “quality common destination”. To date, there have been 08 ASEAN Tourism Standards including: (1) Sustainable tourism, (2) Clean tourist city, (3) Community-based tourism, (4) Homestay, (5) Green hotel, (6) MICE venue, (7) Spa services, (8) Public toilet.
Regarding to sustainable finance concept, it is the process of taking due account of environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations when making investment decisions in the financial sector, leading to increased longer-term investments into sustainable economic activities and projects. Environmental considerations might include climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as the environment more broadly, for instance the preservation of biodiversity, pollution prevention and the circular economy. Social considerations could refer to issues of inequality, inclusiveness, labour relations, investment in people and their skills and communities, as well as human rights issues. The governance of public and private institutions – including management structures, employee relations and executive remuneration – plays a fundamental role in ensuring the inclusion of social and environmental considerations in the decision-making process.
Thus, “Sustainable Finance” can be understood as a financial source that supports economic growth, while reducing pressure on the environment and society to help achieve sustainability goals, especially climate and environment, taking into account social and governance aspects.
The workshop has the participation of tourist destinations, tourism product suppliers such as accommodation establishments, event venues, spa services, tours operators… to share experiences in implementing sustainable financial mechanisms of stakeholders in the tourism sector.
The workshop had the presentations of local governance (Quy Nhon and Hue cities), tourism management boards (Duong Lam Ancient Village, Thang Long Imperial Citadel), and hotel (Sofitel Legend Metropole Ha Noi).
The discussion focuses on exchanging experiences, solving difficulties, answering questions and proposing solutions for participation, building documents, appraisal process, reviewing participation documents and ASEAN Tourism Award Certification. Standardize according to ASEAN standards for sustainable development, ensuring regional and international integration; suitable and responsive to modern tourism development trends. Apply science and technology, initiatives, feasible solutions, propose mechanisms and policies for sustainable tourism development, contribute positively and responsibly in the ASEAN community; Support and promote domestic and international tourism links.
At the same time, delegates also discussed about implementing the criteria in the ASEAN Tourism Standards, registering to ASEAN Tourism Awards; propagate and promote environmentally friendly tourism products and services, develop sustainable tourism…
Within the framework of the workshop, there was also a Certificate Award Ceremony from VNAT to units that well implement ASEAN Tourism Standards, including the categories of ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Products, ASEAN Green Hotels and ASEAN MICE Venues.
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