The city of Hue, Vietnam has a population of 340,000, but each year it welcomes 2.5 million tourists. Tourism represents 48% of the city’s gross domestic product, but also acts as a significant drain on natural resources. The government of Vietnam has begun searching for ways to make tourism sustainable and ecologically clean, without harming the tourism industry. Sustainable tourism is essential for maintaining Vietnam’s economy for generations to come.
The Hue Centre for International Cooperation, the municipality of Chiang Mai, Thailand, and the Asian Institute of Technology began research on ‘Sustainable Tourism through Low Carbon Initiatives’ funded by the Sustainable Mekong Research Network and the Climate and Development Knowledge Network. The project sought to assess greenhouse gas emissions from Hue, Vietnam by sector, and to develop strategies for reducing GHGs while growing job opportunities. The City of Hue created multi-stakeholder partnerships to explore green-growth strategies. Some of the most successful strategies included human-powered alternative transport, garden houses, and promoting ‘eco-tourism’. Several lessons learned and enabling practices for this program include: