QUANG NAM, 31 October 2016: Hoi An’s city fathers are preparing a code of conduct in the hope a few rules will help tourists to behave appropriately when visiting Vietnam’s popular historical town.
Tuoi Tre News reported Hoi An authorities are critical of tourists who visit the World Heritage town. They claim tourists behave badly, many of them failing to recognise that the town’s customs and Vietnamese culture are different from their home countries.
Hoi An chairman, Nguyen Van Dung, was quoted saying that many tourists wear skimpy clothes when walking around the old town district and even when visiting temples and pagodas.
The Hoi An administration’s code of conduct is in its draft version right now and needs to be reviewed and signed off by the city authorities.
“We have to wait for an amendment to the tourism law to be released shortly,” the provincial tourism department director, Dinh Hai, explained.
Any regulations, or sanctions written in the code of conduct, must comply with the tourism law, which is now being amended, he added.
Cultural destinations across ASEAN face the same challenge. Tourism departments and ministries pursue policies that bring in more tourists with a promise of more revenue. However, the pursuit of economic gain comprises cultural values and exerts considerable pressure on historical buildings that need care and restoration rather than more tourist footprints.
Hoi An was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999 as an example of a well-preserved trading post that was a port of call for traders from China in the 1600s.
For the first nine months of the year, Quang Nam attracted 3.3 million tourist arrivals increasing of 11% during the same period last year generating USD102.68 million in revenue.
Quang Nam is home to three world-renowned attractions – the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites Hoi An Ancient Town and My Son Sanctuary, and the Cu Lao Cham UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.