The central coastal province of Binh Thuan held a conference on June 10 to develop the Green Lotus Label, paving the way for sustainable tourism development in line with provincial strategies.

The conference created opportunities for participants to deepen their understanding of the Green Lotus Label and discuss measures to conserve energy.

The label, issued by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 2012, is a set of 81 criteria applied to tourism accommodations. Graded from one to five green lotuses, the label is granted to any accommodation meeting environmental protection and sustainable development standards.

It covers ways to preserve the environment in tourism activities and festival organisation as well as tap the fullest economic benefits while minimising damage to cultural heritage sites and the environment.

The rapid growth of the tourism sector is exerting intense pressure on local water and energy resources, highlighted the Vice Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Vo Hoang Tuyet Linh, saying garbage discarded from tourism accommodations has contaminated land and water.

She added that it is crucial for tourism accommodations to be involved in environmentally friendly activities and contribute to building sustainable tourism in the province.

In 2012, a number of hotels and resorts in Binh Thuan were honoured with ASEAN Green Hotel Awards and Green Lotus Labels, opening a new trend for provincial tourism development. To date, green tourism has been a spotlight in key tourism sites such as Ham Tien, Phan Thiet and Ham Thuan Nam. Green space is spreading in nearly 200 resorts and tourism businesses and electricity-saving equipment has been implemented at tourism sites.

At the conference, the Department also popularised the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harm while calling on businesses to build non-smoking restaurants and accommodations.-VNA