Circular Tourism Vietnam

Implementing Circular Economy in the Tourism Sector as a Strategy to Promote Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the global economy. The tourism industry has been particularly affected following large-scale travel restrictions to contain the virus. In Vietnam alone, international tourism declined by 68% in 2020 compared to the 2019 level*.  

Through organising stakeholder meetings, the project seeks to bring together industry representatives, policy makers and tourism governmental agencies to identify new national priorities and find sustainable and circular pathways for the tourism sector. Thereby, the project offers a platform to collectively gather insights and define strategies to incorporate circularity in the tourism sector for a post-COVID19 economic recovery. Based on the results of the stakeholder meetings, the project will organise a Circularity Lab to engage with local tourism start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Lab will foster a new understanding among SMEs on the implementation of circular economy concept in tourism. It will also facilitate a cultivation of new circularity ideas for innovative tourism products and services. Through prototyping activities, the enterprises can turn their ideas into tangible products and services that they can offer to tourists and clients.

Using our expertise in collaborative processes of innovation as well as our experience with sustainable business models, the CSCP brings together policy makers and industry representatives to discuss and design strategies to address pressing challenges in Vietnam’s tourism industry. Additionally, we will use the design thinking method to trigger co-creation of ideas for sustainable tourism businesses and integrate elements of sustainability and circularity into Vietnamese tourism SMEs.

In collaboration with its local partner VITA, the CSCP will be working with tourism start-ups and SMEs located in Hue City. The aim is to jointly find simple, affordable, and manageable ways of commencing circularity, for example by addressing food waste and marine litter.

Due to its global and cross-sector industry, the tourism industry can have a real transformative effect. By promoting innovation through the integration of circularity and sustainability in this sector, the project Circular Tourism Vietnam looks to inspire, empower and enable tourism SMEs to reflect on and change their consumption and production patterns towards more sustainability.

The project is funded by the TUI Care Foundation and supported by the Vietnam National Tourism Association (VITA) as local partner.


*Quang, Tran,  Tran, Nguyen, Nguyen, 2020