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Effective exploitation of historical-cultural relics to foster tourism development

Nguyen Huy Hung, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism gave an interview

Q : Sir, it can be seen that the exploitation of historical-cultural relics to foster tourism development in Quang Tri is being actively implemented. Could you please give an overview of the preservation and restoration of revolutionary relics associated with the current economic and tourism development?

A: Quang Tri currently has 501 historical-cultural relics that have been listed at various levels, including 4 special national relics (with 28 constituent relics), 20 national relics (with 57 constituent relics) and 477 provincial-level relics of various types: historical-cultural, archaeological, artistic-architectural, or scenic.

In recent years, the preservation and restoration to exploit the potential and advantages of the unique revolutionary relics has received special attention from Quang Tri Province, being associated with economic and tourism development to turn tourism into a leading economic sector, as obeying the spirit of the Politburo’s Resolution No. 08-NQ/TW.

Accordingly, investment in preservation and restoration to utilize the relics’ value has been actively made by all levels and sectors, obtaining notable results. The provincial People’s Council issued Resolution No. 167/NQ-HDND, dated February 9, 2021, on the investment, preservation, restoration, and prevention of degradation of historical-cultural relics in Quang Tri Province in the 2021-2025 period, with a total investment of more than VND43 billion or US$1.72 million.

Effective exploitation of historical-cultural relics to foster tourism development

Tourists visit the Quang Tri Ancient Citadel. Photo: D.T

Quang Tri Province is actively directing the planning task and producing scientific and legal documents for relics in the area, especially for national relics and special national relics.

After the relic planning, and their scientific and legal documents are completed, there will be effective instruments for better managing, preserving, repairing, restoring and developing the relics. This will also create favorable conditions to give directions for developing structures at the relics to effectively exploit the land fund, to satisfy the sightseeing and travel needs of the locals and tourists, and to provide a basis for investment projects and attract investment in tourism development.

The province pays special attention to utilizing the value of relics in tourism development. After being invested in, renovated and put into operation, the relics have proved its value, contributing to shaping and improving the quality of tourism products typical of the province, such as revolutionary-historical tourism, ‘nostalgia for old battlefields and comrades’ tours, spiritual tourism, ecotourism, sea tourism, island tourism or shopping tourism. Multiple key tourist routes and areas in the localities are gradually forming, with some of them having made an impression on tourists on Vietnam’s tourism map.

Apart from the relics’ historical and cultural values, gratitude to the heroic martyrs has led to a number of unique revolutionary festivals, creating new spiritual products with a profound impression and widespread influence on the people’s lives. Typical examples include the Festival of Gratitude to Heroic Martyrs at the Truong Son Cemetery and Road 9 National Martyrs' Cemetery, the Country Reunification Festival at the national relic of the Two Sides of Ben Hai River - Hien Luong Bridge, and the Lantern Festival on Thach Han River.

Along with the revolutionary relics, revolutionary festivals have made spiritual values more vivid, bringing fresh awareness and profound emotions towards the value of peace for humanity, including many tourists coming to the ‘sacred land of Quang Tri’.

Q: To more effectively implement the investment in preserving, restoring and exploiting historical-cultural relics’ value and socio-economic development, especially tourism development in the province - in celebration of the Festival For Peace, in the coming time, what tasks and solutions need to be focused on and synchronously implemented, sir?

A: It can be affirmed that, with the attention and involvement of all levels and sectors from central to local, historical-cultural relics in Quang Tri Province have always been invested in, restored, and exploited effectively, gradually becoming captivating tourist attractions for domestic and international tourists.

To continue investing more effectively in preserving, restoring and exploiting their value and promoting socio-economic development, especially tourism development in the province, in the near future, it is necessary to focus on synchronously implementing these tasks and solutions, specifically as follows:

Firstly, to continue pursuing the goal of preserving and restoring historical-cultural relics in the province, while improving their sustainability and utilizing their great value, according to Resolution No. 167/NQHDND, dated February 9, 2021, of the Provincial People’s Council “on investment, preservation, restoration, and prevention of degradation of historical-cultural relics of Quang Tri Province in the 2022-2025 period”, as well as the ‘Vietnam’s Cultural Heritage Value Preservation and Sustainable Exploitation Program in the 2021-2025 Period’. They are to form a basis for promoting strong development of the ‘Nostalgia for Old Battlefields and Comrades’ and ‘Memories of war - Desire for Peace’ tours, in celebration of the Festival for Peace 2024.

Secondly, to enhance promotion of the province’s historical-cultural relics to a large number of people and tourists at home and from abroad. Tourism promotion is to be innovated regarding the methods and content, while professionalism and effectiveness improved. Promotion is also to be associated with conducting digital transformation in tourism development, and developing a smart tourism ecosystem to support and enhance tourist experience.

Products using technologies are to be developed in the direction of approaching the 4th Industrial Revolution to improve efficiency in tourism promotion. The province’s tourism brands are to be built and positioned, such as ‘Memories of War - Desire for Peace’ or ‘East-West Economic Corridor Tourism Gateway’, the latter linking with the regional ‘Heritage Road’ and ‘Legendary Road’.

In particular, to highlight the significance of the Festival for Peace to be held for the first time in Quang Tri in 2024 on a national scale to affirm the desire for and value of peace, and spread a message towards a peaceful, stable and prosperous world. At the same time, it is an opportunity to introduce the images, culture, landscapes and people of Quang Tri to people nationwide and international friends.

Thirdly, to concentrate all resources, including support from the central government, local budgets and socialized sources to invest adequately in preserving and exploiting the relics’ value, thereby creating unique tourism products of Quang Tri and momentum to develop tourism into a leading economic sector. In the immediate future, to carry out surveys for embellishment, renovation and upgradation of items of the historical relics and venues that host the first Festival for Peace in 2024.

Fourthly, to focus on developing outstanding historical-cultural tourism products to attract tourists. Currently, heritage tourism plays an increasingly important role in the country’s economy in general and Quang Tri’s in particular. This is not only a vital tourism resource, a comparative potential and advantage in tourism development in Quang Tri, but also a resource to develop destinations and tourism products unique to Quang Tri, such as culturally and historically experiential tourism, ‘back to the roots’ tourism, or Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) tours.

Therefore, it is necessary to focus resources to turn these relics into truly attractive tourist destinations for domestic and international tourists. At the same time, it is important to accentuate and enhance the appeal of the relics that are widely famous and specific to Quang Tri: the special national relic of the Two Sides of Ben Hai River - Hien Luong Bridge, special national relic of Quang Tri Ancient Citadel, Vinh Moc Tunnels, Gio An Ancient Well water exploitation system, Ta Con Airport, places related to Lord Nguyen Hoang’s Palace in Trieu Phong District, Tan So Citadel relic site, Temple of King Ham Nghi and Can Vuong generals in Cam Lo District, among others.

Fifthly, to establish joint ventures and partnerships to invest in preservation, restoration and exploitation of the relics’ value, associated with tourism development. At the same time, to create favorable mechanisms and policies that balance interests in encouraging such investment, joint ventures and partnerships.

With synchronous solutions and attention from the central, provincial and local authorities, the joint investment and support from businesses, organizations and individuals across the country, historical-cultural relics in Quang Tri Province will hopefully become attractive tourist destinations that draw the attention of large numbers of domestic tourists as well as international friends, contributing positively to the local socio-economic development.

Thank you for your time!

Dao Tam Thanh - Jenna Duong


Dao Tam Thanh - Jenna Duong

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