Optimising UNESCO titles for national development
Owning many tangible and intangible UNESCO-recognized heritage sites, Vietnam is striving to optimize the value of the UNESCO titles for stronger socioeconomic development.
Hoi An city was recognised by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage in 1999__Photo: VNA

Owning many tangible and intangible UNESCO-recognized heritage sites, Vietnam is striving to optimize the value of the UNESCO titles for stronger socioeconomic development.

With 65 UNESCO titles spanning all the 63 cities and provinces, Vietnam contributes to enriching, protecting, and promoting the cultural treasures of humanity. This helps international friends better understand the country, its people, traditions, and history.

Vietnam’s UNESCO titles include world heritage sites, world biosphere reserves, world documentary heritage, global geoparks, and intangible cultural heritage, with world heritage title being the most prestigious and oldest.

Destinations with UNESCO titles have become popular tourist attractions, helping build a trademark for the hosting locality, contributing to expanding the livelihoods for the local communities, and promoting the sustainable growth of the country.

For example, in 2012, the Trang An Landscape Complex received only 1 million visitors each year, but five years after being recognized by the UNESCO as a World Natural Culture Heritage Site, it drew 6.3 million visitors in 2019.

Trang An Landscape Complex - UNESCO-recognised World Natural Culture Heritage Site__Photo: VNA

In 2019, World Cultural Heritage Sites of Vietnam alone received 21.3 million visitors, including 10.6 million foreigners, with revenue from direct ticket selling reaching VND 3.12 trillion (USD 123.17 million).

The optimizing of cultural heritage resources also entails the development of many other factors such as infrastructure, services, the expansion of exchanges, and the increase of flows of goods and labor, creating inclusive and harmonious development.

With outstanding efforts in preserving and promoting the values of UNESCO titles, Vietnam is considered as a model of harmony in preserving and promoting values of heritages in association with sustainable tourism development and expanding people’s livelihood.

Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ninh Binh Pham Quang Ngoc said that the province has defined the system of cultural and natural heritages and UNESCO titles as a foundation for the locality’s sustainable development.

Ninh Binh chose an economic structure model suitable to the function of a "heritage city", capable of eliminating the classic industrialization that damages cultural heritage and conflicts with environmental protection as well as signs of racing towards a model of concentrated urban population structure development that exceeds the capacity of a "heritage urban area”, he stated.

In order to further promote the role of UNESCO titles for sustainable development and enhancing the national position in the world arena, experts held that Vietnam should associate efforts to preserve and promote heritages with the overall socio-economic development policy. Vietnam is currently one of the 11 countries selected by UNESCO to pilot the development of a set of cultural indicators associated with the implementation of sustainable development goals on 22 criteria.

At the local level, it is necessary to include the efforts in tourism development strategies and investment cooperation, they held.

Besides, experts also underlined the need to promote public-private partnerships in the work, along with stronger communications activities to promote UNESCO-recognized sites, especially via social networks and the application of digital technology.- (VNA/VLLF)

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