Vietnam and Colombia share about tourism management of heritage site

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- On October 8, Embassy of Colombia in Vietnam coordinated with Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) organized webinar on “Role of the state, regional and private authorities in the tourism management of heritage site: Trang An case”.

Photo: TITC

Mr. Miguel Angel Rodriguez Melo - Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Myriam Escallón - Deputy Director for Cooperation with Asia of the Presidencial Agency of Cooperation and Mr. Ha Van Sieu - Vice Chairman of VNAT co-chaired the webinar.

Speaking at the webinar, Mr. Ha Van Sieu - Vice Chairman of VNAT said that Colombia owns famous world heritage sites such as Colombian Coffee Cultural Landscape, Chiribiquete National Park, Santa Cruz de Mompox Historical Center, Tierradentro National Archaeological Park, Inca Road System…

Vietnam is also very proud of 8 world heritage sites recognized by UNESCO, including a mixed cultural and natural heritage - Trang An Landscape Complex. Through heritage tourism, Vietnam aims to spread the beauty and spirit of these heritage sites to friends around the world.

Vietnam are aware of the role of state management agencies of enterprises in orienting and exploiting the development of this type of tourism so that tourism activities contribute positively to the preservation and promotion of tourism activities, heritage value, supporting local community livelihoods. Therefore,  VNAT are very pleased to share our experiences as well as difficulties encountered in heritage tourism management in Vietnam, and at the same time look forward to hearing suggestions and initiatives from Colombian.

Trang An Landscape Complex. Photo TITC

At the workshop, Mr. Bui Van Manh, Director of Department of Tourism of Ninh Binh Province said, Trang An Landscape Complex was officially on the list of World Cultural and Natural Heritage - the first mixed heritage of Vietnam and Southeast Asia in 2014 with outstanding values recognized based on 3 criteria: culture value, aesthetic beauty and geomorphology.

Trang An Landscape Complex located in Ninh Binh Province is a mixed cultural and natural property contained mostly within three protected areas; the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, the Trang An-Tam Coc-Bich Dong Landscape, and the Hoa Lu Special-Use Forest. The property covers 6,226 hectares within the Trang An limestone massif, and is surrounded by a buffer zone of 6,026 hectares, mostly rural land with rice paddy fields.

Valuable types in the buffer zone are divided into groups such as: natural landscape values, agricultural landscape value, archaeological sites, historical relics, traditional art architecture, traditional villages and intangible cultural values.

In 2020, Ninh Binh only received approximately 2.8 million visits, equivalent to 37% compared to 2019. In the first 6 months of 2021, the whole province welcomed nearly 868,000 visits, reaching 57.69% compared to the same period in 2020.

Under the huge and profound impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ninh Binh Department of Tourism and the Management Board of Trang An have implemented measures to promptly respond to the pandemic and best prepare resources to maintain tourism development pace after the pandemic is under control, namely:

Continuing to raise public awareness about the heritage preservation and coordinate with local authorities and businesses in managing, preserving and protecting outstanding universal values of the property and in protecting tourism resources;

Following the leadership and direction of the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People's Committee of Ninh Binh for the prevention and control of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Tourism, the Management Board have instructed businesses and management boards of tourist areas to strictly comply with regulations and ensure safety for visitors and employees;

Organizing dialogues with businesses about resolving difficulties; promulgating many policies to ensure social security, support difficult businesses, support workers lost job, especially in the field of tourism; mobilizing and encouraging the businesses in the heritage area to pay more attention to social security activities, issues of work and income for employees;

Applying measures to stimulate tourism demand, in which, offering attractive products at preferential prices, committing to reduce fees but not reducing service quality to attract domestic visitors.

Photo: TITC

Representative of UNESCO Office in Vietnam shared that, during over the last two years from 2019 – present, UNESCO has cooperated with Ninh Binh Provincial People’s Committee, Xuan Truong Construction Enterprise, and VNAT to implement a project “Promote Quality Heritage Tourism in Trang An”.

The project aims to improve the quality of heritage tourism in Trang An through an integrated management approach and the promotion of sustainable tourism practices complementing the property’s OUVs. Specific objectives include: Enhance site management capacity particularly in visitor monitoring and management; Strengthen heritage interpretation framework and practices; Improve small scale and community-based tourism services for sustainability. Up to now, very first results of the project are evidence of importance on prioritising the conservation of heritage resources for the tourism sector.

Closing the webinar, Mr. Ha Van Sieu emphasized that this is probably a great motivation for VNAT, managers and businesses alike to continue to strive to make heritage tourism a brand for Vietnam tourism. Besides, we also recognize our limitations, difficulties and challenges. He acknowledged the comments of Colombian side to promote our strengths and further strengthen the heritage management capacity.

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