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Positive Impact Tourism

Introduction

Positive Impact Tourism (or P.I.T) is an underlying philosophy in all tours operated by our company. iExplore Vietnam Travel believes that the trips that we operate should adhere to some basic social and environmental principles. We aim to minimize our impact on the environment and maximize respectful interaction with the local people and culture.

For travelers it’s about being culturally and environmentally sensitive in a way that gives you a deeper understanding of a place and its people – and guarantees you’ll have a wonderful trip.

What Can You Do?

By following these guidelines you will not only have a richer cultural experience but minimize the impact on the communities and environment we visit.

Before you go.

The more you understand Vietnam, the more you will appreciate it while you are there.

When packing you bags, consider:

Vietnam has a waste management problem and as such, leave excess packaging at homes, use rechargeable batteries and biodegradable toiletries whenever possible.

Vietnam is also a conservative country and dresses as such. Short shorts or skirts, low cut tops and figure revealing clothing is not considered respectful (especially in rural areas or places of worship). Bringing along plenty of light loose clothing that covers your limbs will not only protect you from the sun and insects, but will also mean that you will be more readily accepted by the locals.

Leave expensive jewelry at home. Not only does this attract thieves, but it is a reminder of the wealth gap between rich and poor countries.

While in the country:

Local Culture and customs:

Meeting and interacting with the locals will probably be a highlight of your trip and iExplore Vietnam Travel aims to give you many opportunities for positive cultural exchange. However, just like in your own country respect, open mindedness and consideration are required. In rural areas don’t be surprised if you are also treated as an object of curiosity.
Put yourselves in the shoes of the local people and remember that at times it is easy to judge based on your own culture and expectations. Also please bear in mind:

You are guests in a country and try to behave with a certain amount of respect for the host country as you would expect from others if they came to your community. Do as the locals do. Vietnam often seems to run on a different concept to time than you are familiar. Patience, good humour and a go with the flow attitude is required!

Keep an open mind. You do things differently at home

Don’t be too quick to generalize. One experience of being overcharged for a souvenir does not mean all vendors are scam artists.

Be ready for lots of personal questions! Questions about marital status, age and job are not considered out of bounds topics’ and are the normal way in which a conversation is started by the locals. We suggest you use this to your benefit to start your own conversation with a local person.

Showing affection in public is also considered frowned upon. Hugging, kissing and even holding hands between members of the opposite sex is frowned upon and causes embarrassment to much of society.

Showing anger and frustration is considered a big faux-pas in most Asian countries. It does not work and only makes the situation worse. Try to remain calm on the outside at all times.
– Please be considerate of the local customs.

Being dressed inappropriately can often cause offense. Wearing low cut tops, short shirts and deliberately figure-hugging clothes especially in rural areas or places of worship is considered offensive. Men should always wear a shirt in public. Swimwear for local bathing places will often needs to be in the form of shorts and a T-shirt rather than a bikini. Take your cue from the local people.

Please respect private property (including land) and be prepared to pay for any damage that you may cause. This is particularly the case while trekking where weather conditions may lead to damage of crops (while trekking through rice terraces for example) and be aware that your guide may deliberately keep you away from a particular place to limit potential damage (for example rice terraces in wet weather)