Ideas and suggestions on balancing tourism development and heritage preservation were put forwards at a tourism conference on the sidelines of the Vietnam International Tourism Mart in Hanoi on April 3.

Duong Bich Hanh, representative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Hanoi, introduced an overall picture of world heritages in Vietnam and highlighted challenges in preserving and promoting heritages’ values.

Kai Partale, an expert from the Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Programme (EU-ESRT) which hosted the conference, underlined the need to establish a close link between the preservation and promotion of heritage values and principles of responsible tourism.

Vietnam needed to integrate advice on responsible behaviours for tourists into prominent cultural events, he added.

Vietnam has 8 world cultural and natural heritage sites recognised by the UNESCO.

Participants emphasised that preservation should be given the top priority, noting that the main target of UNESCO recognition is to honour the heritage’s value and help with the preservation work.

In its tourism development strategy to 2020 with a vision to 2030, Vietnam attached great importance to sustainable tourism development in close association with preservation and promotion of national cultural values.

The tourism sector itself is making efforts to ensure the tourism growth and build resources for the preservation and environment protection by improving management capability or devising support policies.-VNA