VietNamNet Bridge – Leading the country in terms of the number and value of heritages, but the heritages still have not been introduced to many travelers from all over the world.
It’s because of bad management or lazy travel firms?
According to the Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hanoi has 5,316 heritages, 1/5 of which have been recognized as national heritages. The figure is five times higher than that in Hue. In the ancient capital city, heritage tourism products bring 80 percent of the total number of travelers every year.
Dr. Ha Van Sieu, Head of the Institute for Tourism Research and Development, said only the relics in the core areas have been exploited, and they have been exploited for the last tens of years. Other valuable relics, including the internationally recognized ones, still have not been effectively exploited for tourism development.
The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Co Loa Citadel, Saint Giong Festival, the ancient temples in the old Ha Tay Province, ancient craft villages which have high historical value, still have not been put into exploitation to serve tourism.
Sieu believes that one of the most important reasons behind this is the bad management of cultural and historical relics. Local heritage management agencies, which still cannot understand the benefits to be brought by tourism, have been following a conservative way of heritage conservation. Meanwhile, in other localities, heritages have been developed in a massive scale and unsustainable way.
Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism -- Mai Tien Dung, admitted the bad management of the relics for tourism development. However, Dung said that the travel firms should also be blamed on this.
Dung said that the department many times organized farmtrips with an effort to create favorable conditions for travel firms and localities to meet each other and discuss the opportunities to exploit the local heritages for tourism development. However, the number of heritage tours remains very modest.
Dung said that travel firms remain lazy and shy of risks, which explains why they still cannot take full advantage of the valuable cultural and historical heritages. Instead of opening new tours, designing new creative itineraries, travel firms have just been exploiting the existing tours.
In general, for a city tour, travel firms would lead travelers to the Presidential Palace, Van Mieu (the Temple of Literature) - Quoc Tu Giam (considered the first university in Vietnam), ancient streets in the central area of the city, Ngoc Son Temple and the Thang Long Water Puppetry Theatre. Meanwhile, they do not think of changing the destinations, or replacing the water puppetry with ca tru, tuong and cheo performance shows (the kinds of traditional opera).
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Replying to the criticism that they remain too lazy in developing heritage tours, travel firms say they really want to attract more tourists to heritage sites, but they have to face many obstacles.
Luu Duc Ke, Director of Hanoitourist, said the poor infrastructure at the heritage sites does not allow to receive high numbers of tourists at the same time. The overloaded and the poor infrastructure items at the destinations points make it unable to exploit the tours effectively.
The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long cannot receive many tourists at the same time due to the archaeology matters, while it is not suitable to all tourists. The Saint Giong Festival is very attractive, but it is organized at the low tourism season.