How a Circularity Lab Can Inspire and Boost Sustainable Tourism in Vietnam

With its pristine beaches, Buddhist pagodas, and vibrant cities, Vietnam has turned into a leading tourist destination, with the tourism sector becoming one of the country’s economic pillars. In 2019 the number of international arrivals skyrocketed to 18 million compared to only around 2 million in 2000*. Data from 2019 also suggests that tourism accounted for over 9 % of Vietnam’s total gross domestic product (GDP)*. But, how can the tourism sector become more sustainable and play a strategic role in recovering and prospering in the era of an ongoing pandemic?

In November 2021, the CSCP launched a pilot project that seeks to explore new strategies to promote the circular economy in Vietnam’s tourism sector. The pilot project is funded by the TUI Care Foundation and is being implemented for a duration of six months together with the Vietnam Tourism Association (VITA). The project will lay the groundwork for a sustainable circular tourism in Vietnam and beyond. To achieve this, the project will engage with national and industrial stakeholders in Vietnam and promote collaboration among them. By working with selected tourism start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a Circularity Lab, the project team will facilitate the co-creation of new ideas for sustainable circular tourism products and services.

As part of the Circularity Lab activities, a prototyping of ideas by the participating start-ups and SMEs will encourage their actual implementation. During the pilot, the project team will work closely with the Lang Co district of Hue City in Central Vietnam. New insights gathered during the pilot on how to promote sustainable circular tourism will be shared with all stakeholders involved, creating momentum for a more resilient and vibrant tourism sector in Vietnam.

Despite its contribution to the local economy, the tourism sector is also known as a major contributor to environmental impacts. In addition to land use, tourism requires resources such as energy, water and food, which generates a huge amount of waste, road congestion, noise and air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. This pilot aims at providing new and powerful impulses to tackle these challenges in creative and collaborative ways for a sustainable tourism that benefits the environment, the people, and the economy. The pilot will identify new sustainable circular business models as well as come up with strategies to tackle, among others, the issues of plastic and food waste as starting points.

For further questions, please contact Kartika Anggraeni.

*The World Bank
*Statista 2021.

Photo by Chris Slupski on Unsplash.