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22/01/2019 - 09:01

Increase of visitors to Hue monuments sets record

That is one of the most outstanding achievements which made 2018 a year of success for Hue Monument Conservation Center (HMCC) in many aspects, shared Dr. Phan Thanh Hai, the center’s Director about the highlights in the task of cultural heritage conversation last year.

Visitors at Hue Citadel. Photo: Duc Quang

Dr. Phan Thanh Hai stressed on the strong progress of mobilizing a remarkable funding to conserve, restore, embellish, and to save the monuments out of degradation. The total invested capital for the monuments conversation and restoration last year surpassed VND 278 billion, with the disbursement rate of 87.88% (this rate would be 100% if only disbursement in basic construction restoration is calculated).

He said, “…with that capital, we have invested a series of substantial projects, restoring many monuments that have been degraded or completely destroyed. These projects include Thieu Phuong garden, Nhat Thanh pavilion, Trieu To temple, the walls of the Forbidden City, and the front of the Citadel, stretching from Thuong Tu gate to Tay Nam watch tower.

A series of works at the tombs of King Tu Duc, King Duc Duc, King Dong Khanh, King Thieu Tri and King Gia Long were also restored. Even some relics which were previously difficult to restore, such as Ho Quyen (Tiger Arena) or Voi Re (Temple of the Roaring Elephant), were also been done. After 25 years of being recognized by UNESCO as the World Heritage, the complex of Hue monuments has experienced a miraculous revival. That is the common remark of many prestigious experts and organizations in the world.

How do you evaluate the reception of visitors in the past year?

In the field of promoting the values of Hue’s cultural heritage, we have made dramatic efforts to implement solutions to attract visitors. Thanks to that, the number of tourists visiting Hue monuments in 2018 set a record, beating the milestone of 3.5 million people; in which, the number of international visitors increased by more than 25% compared to the previous year. The total revenue from sightseeing tickets was VND 381.756 billion, rising by more than 20% compared to that of 2017 and surpassing by 19% compared to the plan assigned for the year by the State.

This source of revenue is greatly meaningful, proving that the direct revenue from Hue monuments has increased rapidly and made an important contribution to the State’s budget. In 2018, the center paid VND 383 billion, including a part of the revenue from 2017, to the State’s budget.

In 2019, Thua Thien Hue province plans to focus all of its resources on relocating residents from area I of the Citadel. What will HMCC do to contribute to this important task?

It is true that in 2019, the biggest plan of the province is to concentrate all resources to implement the project which relocate residents from area I of the Citadel. In this task, we will coordinate with the People's Committee of Hue city and other relevant departments and agencies to perform necessary statistics and planning works as well as contribute to the budget resource from our revenues. It is a major role that this revenue contribution plays in implementing this vital project. Besides, we have to invest in studying and planning for the reception, conservation, restoration, and promotion of the values of the Citadel relics following the clearance project.

Heritage education is considered a sustainable approach for generation transition in cultural heritage conservation. What do you think about this issue?

For me, it is necessary to get the students out of the school borders so that they can be exposed to heritage. Hue possesses a rich heritage environment for students to absorb historical and cultural heritage information. To do so, I think the Department of Education and Training needs to be more proactive in cooperating with us and making appropriate changes in the historical and cultural education curriculums.

In our part, with the approval of the Provincial People's Council, we will continue to create maximum conditions, such as by exempting and reducing ticket prices or providing free guides and support, to make it more and more convenient for students to study, practice, and exchange information at the sites of Hue monuments.

For heritage education activities to be truly a sustainable solution for generation transition in heritage conservation, we must first implement those facilitation activities well. Then in the long run, we would consider proposing the Ministry of Education and Training to innovate heritage education.

Thank you very much!

By Dong Van