The world heritage Hoi An (Source: hoianworldheritage.org.vn)

Heritage preservation was singled out as a key measure to develop sustainable tourism in central Quang Nam province at a conference on cultural preservation and tourism development.

At the event, held in Hanoi on September 24 by the Quang Nam People’s Committee and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, local and international delegates shared experience and put forward suggestions to help Quang Nam preserve and promote its heritage values for sustainable tourism.

Quang Nam, located in the south central coastal region , of Vietnam, has two out of 21 world heritage – Hoi An ancient town and My Son Hindu temples – recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The world Biosphere Reserve Cu Lao Cham, also recognised by UNESCO, is another popular destination for tourists.

The heritage sites were preserved through the assistance of international experts and sponsorships totalling 79.5 billion VND (3,5 million USD) between 1997 and 2014 from organisations such as UNESCO, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Lerici Foundation (Italy) and American Express (the United States).

From 2009-2014, many tourism projects were implemented in the province and benefited local residents.

As a result, the number of visitors to the province increased from 300,000 in 1999 to more than 3.68 million in 2014.

However, Quang Nam is still facing major challenges, such as the funding required to preserve, manage and plan heritage sites; the development of tourism brands and products; and human resources quality.-VNA