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Vietnamese students win top prize at global tourism contest

Vietnamese students win top prize at global tourism contest

Tuesday, November 02, 2021, 15:54 GMT+7
Vietnamese students win top prize at global tourism contest
This snapshot shows the portraits of five members of the Walkie Talkie team that has won first prize for the category of Plastics Pollution Challenge at the 2021 Global UNWTO Students’ League. Photo: C.K. / Tuoi Tre

A student team of RMIT Vietnam University has won first prize for a competition category at the 2021 Global United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Students’ League, intended for tourism students around the world.

The top prize went to the Walkie Talkie team from RMIT Vietnam University’s Saigon South campus for the category of Plastics Pollution Challenge as it surpassed 22 competitors at the UNWTO Students’ League contest.

The team, including five students majoring in tourism and hospitality management, won the award for its project promoting sustainable actions to reduce plastic waste in Phu Quoc Island City off the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang.

Launched by the World Tourism Organization (WTO), the UNWTO Students’ League recently wrapped up after four months of competition, drawing 750 projects from 100 countries around the world.

The event was aimed at empowering and motivating tourism students by providing them with real experience through initiating and implementing innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the tourism industry.

The wining team is scheduled to present its tourism vision to the WTO General Assembly at the end of November in Morocco and to attend the Global Youth Tourism Summit 2022 hosted by the WTO in Sorrento, a coastal town in southwestern Italy.

With a view to helping accommodation service providers on Phu Quoc Island reduce plastic consumption and plastic waste discharge, the team proposed such innovative solutions that help minimize plastic packaging for personal hygiene product sets available in hotel rooms and improve tourists’ knowledge of plastic waste.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented increase in production and consumption of disposable plastic products such as face masks and disinfectant bottles, which have resulted in a corresponding significant surge in plastic waste pollution on Phu Quoc, said Nguyen Le Viet Huy, head of the Walkie Talkie team.

“Most accommodation service providers on the island have not exercised environmental protection measures in the disposal of plastic waste arising from the pandemic,” the team commented.

Phu Quoc Island in general and its hotel industry in particular should immediately take sustainable measures in handling plastic waste, especially when Vietnam is planning to reopen this resort island to international tourists this month, said team member Nguyen Thi Anh Thu.

WTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili commented that the team’s solutions will help local accommodation service providers become the pioneers in reducing plastic waste and will thereby exert positive influence on other service companies.

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Vinh Tho / Tuoi Tre News

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