A large number of local and foreign researchers, managers and experts discussed the role of heritage tourism in achieving environmentally sustainable growth, at an international seminar in the central city of Hue on Feb. 14.

Chairman of the Thua Thien-Hue provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Cao said the province has made efforts to preserve Hue relics and develop a model of Vietnam ’s green tourism since the ancient imperial citadel of Hue was recognised by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1993.

The province has prioritised investment in biodiversity conservation projects and services to protect the cultural and natural environment, he added.

However, he said it is a challenge for Hue to develop tourism in a new way despite its potential.

Doctor Ha Bich Lien from Ho Chi Minh City Teachers College said besides the heritage site, Hue also attracts tourists by Bach Ma National Forest, Tam Giang lagoon, Phong Dien natural reserve and Huong (Perfume) river.

She emphasised the necessity for Hue to develop tourism towards green growth with focus on natural and cultural hertiage as tourists are keen on environmental protection and tourism service quality.

Senior advisor of the United Nations Environment Programme Lal Kurukulasuriya suggested central Thua Thien Hue province invest in developing new green tourism models such as community-based and ecological tourism to reduce energy and water costs and increase the value of biological and ecological diversity./.