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Sustainable tourism in Southeast Asia and how to apply for your visa

Southeast Asia remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with about 140 million visitors per year before the pandemic. One of the main reasons why so many tourists are attracted to this region, besides its rich culture, is the opportunity to come into contact with some of the purest and most well-preserved natural areas in the world.

Indeed, in some of the most visited countries in this area, like Cambodia, Thailand or Vietnam, there are numerous islands, beaches and forests, which offer the possibility of going on beautiful hikes or simply admiring astonishing natural wonders.

However, if we want to enjoy the beauty that nature offers in these countries for generations to come, it is necessary to preserve these areas, to take special care of them and treat them with the utmost respect.

During the first days of the pandemic, many thought that COVID-19 would mark a turning point regarding tourism and the preservation of local nature. In fact, it was thanks to the bans imposed during this period that the impact of mass tourism on nature became particularly clear.

Thanks to the travel restrictions and the absence of mass tourism, some tourist areas in Asia could again rehome animals that had been displaced, and other natural areas regained a state of balance that had been lost for many years.

Recent development of sustainable tourism in Southeast Asia

In order to attract as many tourists as possible and at the same time contribute to the preservation of the beauty of their natural sites, many countries in Southeast Asia are introducing important changes in the way they manage their tourism industry.

These efforts are aimed at creating a form of tourism that, while remaining attractive to tourists, has a lesser impact on the environment.

In this way, it is hoped that the natural beauty of these areas will be preserved for future generations to visit. Some countries are doing more than others to carry out these projects, but in general it can be said that the increasing focus on the environment is a growing trend.

It must be said, however, that a gap remains between the theory of sustainable tourism and its actual implementation. This is probably due to the lack of understanding between the tourism industry and the various political actors in the field of tourism.

The introduction of any form of sustainable tourism necessarily requires the cooperation of all stakeholders, including governments and local communities.

The implication of the different governments in the implementation of ecotourism could therefore be an important factor in filling this gap. The tourists themselves also play a key role in this perspective.

In fact, it is also up to the travellers to show the necessary sensitivity and prefer travel modes that show more respect for the local places and culture. No doubt, once one has admired the natural beauty of countries like Cambodia or Vietnam, the importance of preserving these places becomes even clearer.

Don’t forget to apply for your visa

To visit the countries in this beautiful region, you need to apply for a visa. Fortunately, it is now extremely easy to apply online for an eVisa to Vietnam, for example.

Applying for an electronic visa allows you to get your travel authorisation in a few days without having to visit any embassies or consulates. For example, to obtain a visa Vietnam, the estimated turnaround time for a regular application is one week, while in the case of an urgent application the visa is approved within three days.

You should also pay attention to the requirements for obtaining and using a visa. For example, did you know that you can only enter and leave Vietnam through certain airports?

Find out more about these and other Vietnam visa requirements before you travel.