Visitor Management for the UNESCO World Heritage Site Trang An, Vietnam

How can visitors to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tran An be managed in a way that avoids congestion and creates impulses for regional value creation?

This central - and at the same time very complex - question was the focus of the project managed by GFA Consulting within the framework of the Swiss Sustainable Tourism Programme in Vietnam, which we supported.

With their worldwide appeal, World Heritage sites have the potential to attract new target groups and boost tourism value creation in the region. In doing so, they are faced with the challenge of protecting their cultural heritage while at the same time making it possible for people to experience it. Clever visitor management has always played a key role in this. This has now taken on a new dimension in the wake of the Corona pandemic. Measures to influence the spatial, temporal and quantitative distribution of visitors are now also important from a health policy perspective.

Against this backdrop, our task was to develop recommendations for the management of visitors, which would contribute to the outlined objectives - protection, heritage interpretation, and regional value creation.

The basis for this was provided by comprehensive research and studies, as well as on-site assessments and the analysis of international best-practice examples. In close cooperation with UNESCO, local tourism authorities and World Heritage managers, we identified the key levers of impact in the areas of visitor guidance, awareness raising & knowledge transfer and quality management. The result was a model for a modern visitor management of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Trang An as well as a recommendation catalogue for practical implementation.