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This past summer, Dr. Morgan returned to Vietnam and worked as a tourism consultant at Mai Chau Ecolodge in Hoa Binh province for nearly one month. Dr. Morgan said: “It was a great learning experience for me and the staff at the Ecolodge. The training sessions provided a unique opportunity for the workers to gain some helpful insights about facility operations and management from a tourism professor and English native speaker.” During the sessions, Dr. Morgan compared and contrasted the cultural differences of visitors and tourist practices in Vietnam and in Western world. Many Western values and behavior have implications for tourism that is helpful for managers at the Ecolodge and other travel agencies in Vietnam. In order to serve Westerners better, Dr. Morgan suggests that Vietnam tourism businesses should improve sanitation at accommodations and tourist places, be organized and be on time, create a variety of choices for visitors, keep tourists well informed about services, address the issue of beggars, care about environmental protection and energy savings.

Dr. Morgan also shared that American tourists tend to be big spenders, but many still look for value (the best deal) when traveling abroad. Prices are very low in Vietnam, so many American tourists consider Vietnam to be a great travel bargain. Besides training at the Ecolodge, Dr. Morgan travelled to Sapa and other places of interest around Hanoi and Hoa Binh. He shared some information on a blog and you can read more about his amazing trip at http://vietiger.blogspot.com. During his second trip to Vietnam in November and December, 2015, besides attending the workshops, he traveled to Hau Giang in the Mekong Delta to visit the Spring Agricultural Production Center and discussed ways to combine ecotourism with conservation and preservation of biodiversity with the facility managers. They took him on a canal tour to observe rare birds, a catfish aquaculture pond, a seedless lemon orchard, and the Nga Bay Floating market. It was a fun and interesting experience. Dr. Morgan also spent quality time in Ho Chi Minh City (as seen in the picture above) and gained more insight into thr tourism industry as well as life in Vietnam. Dr. Morgan made several connections that may lead to a MU study abroad class and a tourism research project in the near future. TVI hopes that he can return to Vietnam many times.