Quang Nam Tourism Strategy
Quang Nam Province, home to the My Son and Hoi An World Heritage sites, the Cham Island Biosphere Reserve and a wealth of cultural treasures, has developed into one of Viet Nam's most popular tourist destinations. A need has developed to balance the safeguarding of heritage with the growth in Viet Nam’s tourist industry. Additionally, it must be ensured that tourism contributes towards local economic development, for example by addressing inequitable tourism revenue distribution among local stakeholders.
UNESCO has supported the Quang Nam Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism (DOCST) and the management boards of the three heritage sites to draft and implement an integrated culture-tourism strategy for Quang Nam Province and individual visitor management plans for each of the three sites. The project seeks to provide an environmentally sensitive strategy for heritage tourism development in Quang Nam that will mitigate environmental risks resulting from rapid tourism growth, taking into consideration associated impacts that include increased number of visitors, raw material exploitation for handicraft production and waste management.
Staff from the Quang Nam DOCST and the three site management boards attended a series of trainings on Public Use Planning (PUP) methodology. PUP is a participatory approach to site plan development that incorporates inputs from a wide range of stakeholders including provincial departments, the private sector and local communities. After each training session, staff from each site applied the PUP methodology to develop components of their site plans and to contribute to the drafting of the provincial strategy. By December 2010, the provincial culture-tourism strategy and the three site management plans had been drafted and reviewed by all relevant stakeholders.
The provincial tourism strategy proposed a number of activities that would promote quality tourism while protecting local heritage. UNESCO chose two for initial implementation, the first of which was a craft development training programme. In this activity, twenty-nine artisans (of which 14 were female) were selected from nine craft villages and trained to develop new product ranges, product lines and product collections with themes inspired from their local culture. This training aimed to promote craft product development and differentiation so that the artisans from Quang Nam can better benefit from the tourism growth in their province.
In a second activity, UNESCO introduced its Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide Programme. This is a certification course developed by the UNESCO-ICCROM Asian Academy for Heritage Management to raise the professional capacity of heritage guides. The programme aims to reinforce sustainable tourism development by training guides to educate visitors about the authentic values of sites and codes for responsible conduct. Eighteen master guides (of which seven were female) from Quang Nam's protected sites participated in the 2010 pilot phase and in 2011 the programme was officially launched at My Son. To date, 40 guides have participated in the five-day course.
The Quang Nam DOCST requested the support of the UN to implement 11 additional activities in the provincial strategy. Such activities have been the focus of UNESCO’s strategic support in the Quang Nam, throughout the remainder of 2011.