Mainstreaming ecotourism as an ecosystem-based adaptation in Vietnam: Insights from three different value chain models
Ngo, T. T. T., Nguyen, T. Q. T., Ho, H. L., & Park, E. (2022). Mainstreaming ecotourism as an ecosystem-based adaptation in Vietnam: Insights from three different value chain models. Environment, Development and Sustainability. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-022-02481-6
This paper investigates the implications of value chain models in mainstream ecotourism as a potential ecosystem-based adaptation in developing country contexts via three case studies across Vietnam, including Lai Chau, Lam Dong and Dong Thap. While the models of the two former two are similar, Dong Thap employs a special unit known as Destination Management Unit, or DMO, to help manage the operations of ecotourism. In this study, a mixed method approach was applied, including both in-depth group discussions and questionnaire-based surveys collecting inputs from tourists and the local tourism business households. For data analysis, we employed two multivariate analysis methods, including multi correspondence analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis. From a tourist’s perspective, DMO provides insurance for services and eliminates intermediate fees. It creates trust in services, improving overall satisfaction, which is a key element for tourist retention. Furthermore, DMO can ensure fair competition, producing a sustainable environment for ecotourism development in the area. However, from business households’ perspectives, the effectiveness of the DMO is still subpar. In contrast, in the case of Lai Chau, we found positive support from the government for tourism activities. The role of the government in the promotion of tourism in Lai Chau can be seen through marketing efforts and the organization of publicity events. In essence, even without the establishment of a dedicated management unit, the management and development of ecotourism can be streamlined should there be effective participation from the government. The findings herewith present an inclusive strategy or instruction for the application of the DMO in a particular area. Empirical results from Lai Chau and Dong Thap point that application without localization is unfeasible. For that matter, localization is key for its application, which requires instruction from the government. Secondly, the improvement of the resource may enhance the experience of the tourists and possibly attract higher travel. The resources mentioned included tangible resources such as infrastructure, accommodation, information access and intangible resources such as human resources and local identity. Lastly, we recommend that DMO should present as the moderator in the value chain of ecotourism which promotes the healthy connection among the members in the ecotourism value chain.
Environment, Development and Sustainability