Vietnam Northern Highlands tour, 6 days

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Vietnam Northern Highlands tour, 6 days


We work with community leaders in each village to find proactive solutions to mitigate the impacts that tourism can bring. To be specific, we choose local foods over those flown into the country - and foods with less environmental impact such as organic foods. Foods are prepared using garden-produced ingredients without chemicals such as piper lolot and mountain bamboo shoot in many homestay meals. Another reason we avoid imported foods is that they are flown halfway across the world, increasing the carbon emission to the world.

We enhance our guide and driver’s knowledge about sustainable tourism regarding environment aspect such as refilling the plastic bottles, using recycle bags, and ways to help protect fragile landscapes when travelling through them.

We choose suppliers that are committed to sustainable tourism such as water consumption, energy saving and so on. We create a comprehensive code of conduct for different suppliers and encourage them to apply this throughout their operations. On this tour, most of our suppliers are local restaurants and accommodation. Mu Cang Chai and Nghia Lo are some of the poorest and remote areas in the North. Hence they are not well educated about sustainable practices. With our effort in conducting workshops and inspection trips, they have staredt to change the way they manage waste, and save energy and water.


We work to create good relationships between tourists and the local community. We provide travellers with a local code of ethics in which they can develop an understanding of the differences between right or wrong to avoid any potential problems. For example, we make sure travelers don’t gift money to the locals as it may encourage future begging.

Also, by using local products, it not only helps travelers learn about the culture and tradition but also encourage the local to recover their customs, for instance traditional costumes and performances. Hence this will enhance the relationship between the guests and the community.

As tourism development has mushroomed haphazardly, hardly any businesses in Sapa are owned and staffed by the locals, but the Kinh. Most of the hill tribes rely on selling their waves on the streets. They will follow travelers all the way to their hotel until get their goods sold. In fact, buying wares from children can encourage them to quit school and work in the street for more money.
We have partnered with The PATA Foundation and Capilano University in an effort to deliver tourism training to Ta Phin village in Sapa where the Red Dzao calls home. Footprint feels it’s a part of our responsibility to support the development of the minority groups in general and the Red Dzao in particular. With our persistent efforts, the project has continuously gained such great results. All the households in Ta Phin Village were equipped with knowledge and experience to do homestay, cooking, tour guiding and so on. Hence they can a living out of it.

Additionally, we optimize the use and encourage the purchase of local products on the tour including meals and handicraft and spread the tourism income equally among the community. The total revenue from our CBT tour goes directly to the community and increased from 17% to 25% from 2013 to 2015. It is estimated that it will be grow to 30% in the next 2 years.

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