Quang Nam holds Heritage Festival 2013

(VEN) – The festival marked the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention on the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Over the past decade, Vietnam and Quang Nam in particular have made great efforts to protect and restore local heritage sites. The government has approved the master plan for cultural heritage sites recognized by UNESCO and urged localities to apply the correct methods to protect and restore the country’s heritage sites.

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Hoi An’s preservation success story has seen it regularly feature on the list of Asia’s most attractive destinations, with a rising number of visitors to Hoi An and the world heritage site of My Son.

“Over the past decade, Quang Nam Province has not only strived to protect its heritage sites, but also continually shared its experience with other countries in the world,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said.

Quang Nam Province successfully held the 5th Quang Nam Heritage Festival on June 21-26, in the city of Hoi An, the world heritage site of My Son and several well known localities in the province.

UNESCO recently helped Quang Nam Province in the conservation and preservation of its heritage sites. UNESCO’s most practical support focused on creating jobs for local people; improving the management capacity at the world heritage site of My Son, the city of Hoi An, and the World Biosphere Reserve of Cu Lao Cham; and developing heritage interpretation systems so as to enrich visitor experiences and encourage them to contribute to the protection of local heritage. This support has also ensured local community involvement in the project which could benefit from tourism development.

Vietnam acknowledged the enormous contributions of UNESCO to Vietnam during the past decade on the protection of intangible cultural heritage sites, and in his inaugural speech at the 5th Quang Nam Heritage Festival this year, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasized “Vietnam is committed to respecting and conserving its heritage sites.”

In her introductory speech, Irina Bokova said “This is a pivotal moment for Vietnam and UNESCO, here in the most unique old town of Hoi An, a site with inspirational cultural dialogue and exchanges. I thank the leaders of Vietnam who have worked with UNESCO in protecting cultural heritage sites in such a cooperative manner. We are also very pleased to see other countries attending this festival; this is the message of peace to the region and the world.”

It is expected that Vietnam and ASEAN will find a common voice in the preservation and promotion of heritage value through this festival as Vietnam has committed itself to implementing the UNESCO Convention on the conservation of intangible cultural heritage sites.

According to Quang Nam Province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the province received more than 2.8 million tourists last year, an increase of 10.7 percent compared with 2011, while earnings from tourism reaching more than VND3.5 trillion. The annual average tourist earning growth rate reached 30 percent during the 2008-2012 period, contributing about 10 percent to the provincial GDP. Quang Nam welcomed more than 1.6 million tourists in the first half of this year, an increase of 19.58 percent over the same period last year, reaching VND1.859 trillion in tourism revenue, up 27.84 percent compared with the same period last year.
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