via The Conversation, 11 July 2018: a piece by Josephine Caust
With colleague Dr Mariana Vecco, I recently published a research article about these issues. Some of our recommendations for vulnerable sites include:
- introducing control of visitor numbers as a matter of urgency
- tighter planning controls on adjacent development
- querying the use of sites for any tourist activities
- auditing sites for damage already incurred.
All of this should occur if UNESCO status is to be continued. However, there is also a bigger conversation we need to have – should tourists visit vulnerable sites and practices?
Hoi An is still a beautiful town but the presence of “wall to wall” tourists mars it. Sadly, as long as UNESCO status is used more as a marketing device than a route to preservation, the situation will continue to deteriorate.