The old imperial city of Hue in Vietnam is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thanks to its recognition as a World Heritage Site, the historical town is a major destination for international and domestic travellers, receiving every year some four million visitors.
Ceremonies occurred recently in Hue to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the city’s inception into the UNESCO World Heritage List. Integrating the UNESCO back to 1993 was a major achievement for Hue, which is one of the most historical cities of Vietnam. It has been also a major step to start the restoration of the old imperial town. Following the war, the imperial city had been seriously ravaged with 400 out of 1,400 works in dilapidated conditions.
Back to February 1996, the then Prime Minister of Vietnam issued a decree that approved a project to preserve and uphold the values of the complex for the 2010-2020 period.
Director of the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre Phan Thanh Hai said Hue has been hailed by UNESCO as the leading Vietnamese locality in terms of heritage preservation, which turned it into a model centre for technological heritage transfer in the Asia-Pacific. Over the past few years, around 170 works of different sizes were restored – most notably Ngo Mon, Thai Hoa Palace, Hien Lam Cac, Duyet Thi Duong; as well as the royal tombs of Kings Gia Long, Dong Khanh, Thieu Tri, and Tu Duc, among others.
Hai said the restoration not only revived the cultural heritages but also made important contributions to urban landscaping, turning Hue into a must-see destination in the Central Heritage Road Tour.
UNESCO recognition also pays off in terms of tourism. Over the past year, tourist arrivals to the ancient capital of Hue have grown by 15-18 percent year-on-year. In 2017, the city received close to four million visitors, including 1.8 million international travellers. Close to three million Hue tourists paid a visit to the UNESCO-listed imperial city.
The highest number of foreign tourists – 26 percent of the total – was from the Republic of Korea. Visitors from France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and Thailand had the second to sixth highest percentages, respectively. The airport welcomed in 2017 over 1.75 million passengers. A plan to build a new terminal has beem approved with construction being planned for 2019.
During the first seven months of this year, Hue recorded 2.7 million visitors, including 1.5 million international visitors.
The recent celebration was also the opportunity to mark as well the 15th anniversary of Hue royal court music being recognised as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.