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Overtourism in Dalat,

Vietnam.
22 November 2019

Course code and name: COMM2693: Contemporary Approaches to Media and


Communication
Length: 10-minute collaborative digital presentation
Type: Group assessment
I.Intro:
 Goodwin (2017, p.4) stated that overtourism describes destinations where hosts or
guests, locals or visitors, feel that there are too many visitors that make the life
standard in the area or the quality of the experience has ramshackle unfeasibly.
 The term overtourism appeared generally from media discourses without a lot of
theoretical grounding. The problem describes—an excessively negative impact of
tourism on the host communities as well as the natural environment—which has been
a critical concern in the world for several years, though. (Koens, Postma & Papp 2018)
II. Appearance :
 Overtourism occurs in famous tourist destinations. For instance, places that are
struggling from this issue: Venice (Italy), Amsterdam (Netherlands), New York (USA),
Kyoto (Japan), Barcelona (Spain).
III. Fact in Vietnam (statistic)
 The issue of the tourism boom is a hot potato in Vietnam. In Dalat, a city in the Central
Highlands province of Lam Dong, which famed for picturesque scenery, hills, and
valleys. Also, to attract tourists with its year-round weather, Dalat itself is known as “
A city of flowers”. Therefore, it’s positively a traveler destination.
 Da Lat welcomed seven million guests in 2018, up to 2 million compared to 2017 and
5 million compared to 2010. Meanwhile, the population here is merely around 300,000
(Truong 2019)
IV. Impacts
1. Benefits
 For tourists:
 Traveling and outdoor activities grant a great chance to gain learning experiences
(Koseoglu & Doering 2011), in detail, Peterson et al. 2007, Broomhall et al. 2010 (cited
in Stone & Petrick 2013) indicated ‘experiential learning can also occur from touristic
events and through field trips, seminars, and immersion experiences like internships,
volunteering, and teaching.’
 Not only national but also foreign tourists, especially Westerners, enjoy travel to Dalat
due to its cool climate, ethnic activities and peaceful countryside atmosphere (Gillen,
Rusty & Micheline 2015)
 Some research has been done recently showed the advantages of family travel and
how entertaining, specifically vacations, can enhance parenting work, make good
memories, and decrease generation distance (Kozak and Duman 2012; West and
Merriam 2009; Byrnes 2001; Newman 1996 cited in Durko & Petrick 2013).
 Air visual app indicates: ‘Da Lat Air Quality Index (AQI) and PM2.5 air pollution in 2019
are 64, Moderate’ which is much clearer than Ho Chi Minh city and Hanoi which AQI
is 71 and 123 respectively.
=> Discourse: According to a recent research, social media influencers on Instagram
use their sharing and promotional power to affect and persuade visitors’ selections for
a positive impact (Scott 2019). By that, we can either promote other under-tourism
places as well as raise tourists’ awareness about environment reservation when
traveling. Because we are all responsible for Overtourism. From a travel agent’s
perspective, Francis (2019) offered that tourists should better set out to villages and
mountains for a realistic insight of the country life, keep yourself far away from the
mainstream tourist attraction for satisfyingly relaxing vacation during rush season.
As a visitor, we should try to find unfamiliar places for traveling during national holidays
or weekends, or we can avoid traveling during peak season, and most importantly, be
a responsible traveller, never litter the streets, shop local products and stay at local
homestay so more money will reach the hands of the residents (Simmons 2019)

 For local:
 Koens, Postma & Papp (2018, p. 1) claimed ‘until recently, tourism was seen as one
of the more sustainable economic growth strategies for cities. Particularly in the
aftermath of the economic crisis of 2008, it was viewed as an important driver for
economic recovery or growth and it was given plenty of scopes to develop, thus
reinforcing the relative importance of the industry in city destinations’

 For the government:


 Particularly, in Vietnam, 5,040.00 billion USD has been consumed by tourism
according to (World Bank 2017)Top 12 countries most dependent on tourism
expenditure in 2013 (World Bank’s World Development Indicators 2015)
 At some famous tourist attractions, there is no doubt that tourism is the solution to end
up unemployment, creating enough jobs for the locals (Shakeela, Aishath, Ruhanen,
Lisa, & Breakey, Noreen 2011)

2. Drawbacks:
 For the environment:
 As an online newspaper ‘Saigoneer’ put it in 2014: “One of the saddest practices
occurs when people, trying to set up houses in the forest, use acid to saturate tree
roots, causing them to die en masse. Once the trees are dead, they petition the
government for authorized tree removal. People try to destroy the forest for Tourism
purposes, built houses and extend places to live. This activities lead to poison trees,
which affect at some point in Dalat landscape and create environmental issues.
(Thomson, 2019)
 Architect Ngô Viết Sơn points out that Da Lat became famous places to visit because
of some identifying factor-like friendly people, gorgeous landscape and cool
atmosphere. (vietnamnews.vn, 2018). But in recent years, Da Lat weather increased
rapidly. The highest temperature now reaches 32.4 celsius in May while the lowest is
22.4 in January and December. This statistic based on Da Lat temperature by Month.
Compare to Da Lat temperature in the past 10 years, we can notice a huge gap. The
weather in 2009 was pretty low. The lowest temperature was 14 degree Celsius while
the highest reached 21 Celsius. During the period 2009 to 2019, the temperature rose
from 8,2 celsius to 10.2 celsius, which is roughly 0.8-celsius more each year.
 Taiminen (2018) stated that some examples of negative impacts were caused by the
tourist on the environment are :

1. Tourism depletes area’s resources and pollutes the air, soil and water.
2. Tourism can negatively affect diversity of nature; animal and plant species and
deteriorate habitats of those.
3. Tourism can diminish the attractiveness of landscapes.

 For the local people:


 At the present, the number of private vehicles in Dalat grows by an average of 12
percent a year and the flow of visitors coming to Dalat has been on a rapid increase.
Especially In Dalat, there is no traffic light, therefore containing a lot of people make
the city explosive. Mainly in Dalat, there are many roundabouts so it is difficult to handle
a large number of vehicles at the same time, which caused more traffic jams.
(vietnamnews.vn, 2018)
V. Solution
 Scott (2019) rises a question can social media influencers on Instagram use their
sharing and promotional power to affect and persuade visitors’ selections for a positive
impact? We are all responsible for Overtourism.
 Some cities have taken drastic measures to limit the effects of over-tourism, including
the introduction of new or revised taxation arrangements, fines linked to new local
laws, and “demarketing”, whereby destinations focus on attracting fewer, high-
spending and low impact tourists, rather than large groups. (Milano, C, Cheer, J &
Novelli, M 2018)
 However in Dalat, there is no specific limitation for tourism activities. The only thing we
could do is to raise awareness among the visitors to Dalat city through social
media. Moreover, the collaboration between the citizens and local business plays an
important role in striving to develop sustainable tourism goals.
 According to a recent research, social media influencers on Instagram use their
sharing and promotional power to affect and persuade visitors’ selections for a positive
impact (Scott 2019). By that, we can either promote other under-tourism places as well
as raise tourists’ awareness about environment reservation when traveling. Because
we are all responsible for Overtourism.
 From a travel agent’s perspective, Francis (2019) offered that tourists should better set
out to villages and mountains for a realistic insight of the country life, keep yourself far
away from the mainstream tourist attraction for satisfyingly relaxing vacation during
rush season.
 As a visitor, we should try to find unfamiliar places for traveling during national holidays
or weekends, or we can avoid traveling during peak season, and most importantly, be
a responsible traveller, never liter the streets, shop local products and stay at local
homestay so more money will reach the hands of the residents (Simmons 2019)
VI. Conclusion
 Although over-tourism causes annoyance to the local, there are always 2 sides of the
same coin. Without tourists, thousands of local people would lose their jobs and
become a social burden, which is an undeniable fact.
 There are some certain solutions, which have been mentioned, to make tourism better
for both tourists and local people.
 Better behaviors from tourists will encourage hospitality from the local, which is one of
the most essential parts creating happiness through travelling.

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