The Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Programme (the ESRT Programme) organised a training workshop for the first 33 trainers on responsible tourism from April 18th - April 19th, 2014 in Hanoi. The training workshop was aimed at building a group of core trainers on responsible tourism. In the coming time, these trainers will continue to deliver the responsible tourism seminars in order to outreach the messages on "responsible tourism" extensively.
Mr. Phan Buu Toan, Standing Vice Rector of Saigon Tourism Vocational Training College, is considered as the first Trainer who immediately implemented activities to disseminate responsible tourism to local communities after the training workshop had ended. On April 25, 2014, the College cooperated with Department of Culture and Sports of Phu Quy district, Binh Thuan province in organising a free course with the theme: "Raising awareness and skills on practicing Responsible Tourism" for 50 officials from district and communes of the island.
Mr. Toan shared: "Our school organises the free classes for various localities annually but we just mainly focus on teaching the community-based tourism. But this year, after participating the training workshop for responsible tourism trainers organised by the ESRT Programme, we realised the need to change the content to promote responsible tourism in this island district. "
In response to his recommendation, the College’s managing board approved to integrate responsible tourism into official curricula. It is anticipated that a training workshop with the theme “Best practices of responsible tourism in Can Gio Biosphere Reserve, Ho Chi Minh City” will be organised by Saigon Tourism Vocational Training College in cooperation with the ESRT Programme in late May, 2014.
Another approach by the head of Tourism Business Management Faculty of Nha Trang Culture, Art and Tourism college, Ms. Ha Thi Thu Lan, is changing the name of current subject of the vocational training and college level “Tourism and Environment” into the so-called tittle “Responsible Tourism” with the 30 learning sessions covering five small specialised topics, becoming the main training content of the curriculum for the school year 2014 - 2015.
Follow that, Responsible Tourism subject will be taught by five lecturers of the faculty; at the same time, the lesson plan and detailed outline will be developed based on 16 units of the Vietnam Responsible Tourism Toolkit provided by the ESRT Programme, and also there will be a supplement content ensuring that the subject will be suitable with the training context of the college. It is expected that 600 students of the college will be able to access this new subject.
Deputy head of Tourism faculty of Kien Giang Economics and Technology college, Ms. Luong Ngoc Bich, one of most active Responsible tourism trainers, also quickly develops the plan to implement the training course for her students after being certified as a trainer. Kien Giang college is one of the five colleges to be honored invested by the ESRT Programme with the provided equipment which is worth around 40,000 Euro.
After the training seminars for the trainer, Ms. Luong Ngoc Bich sent related materials of the seminars to all of the colleagues in her college. In addition, a workshop titled “Integrating Responsible tourism into the curriculum of subdivisions such as: Tour Guiding, Front Office and Hotel Management” was organised. Attending the workshop, there were not only the lecturers of the faculty but also the students, aiming at raising the awareness of Responsible Tourism.
Beside those above institutions, there are a number of others also implementing their own activities such as Lao Cai Community college, Da Nang Vocational college, Yen Bai Culture, Art and Tourism college… As can be seen, not only is the ESRT Programme but also institutions and local provinces are aware of the important role of Responsible Tourism towards the development of tourism in the future in particular and the economics in general.