As a land with a long tradition, and cultural and historical values accumulated over thousands of years, Ngu Hanh Son District in Da Nang converges many factors to become an attractive destination for tourists thanks to its special natural scenery, and spiritual festivals and cultural events. The preservation and promotion of the value of each heritage will create a development lever for the district, and the city as a whole.
The Thuy Son Mount. is the largest, highest and most beautiful mountain in the Marble Mountains Tourist Area. Photo: N.Quang
Awakening heritages for tourism development
With just over 3.8km², Ngu Hanh Son District is now home to four heritages, namely the Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village which was recognised as a national-level intangible cultural heritage in 2014, the Marble Mountains tourist area as a special national relic site in 2018, the Quan The Am (Avalokitesvara) Festival as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2021, and ‘ma nhai’ (Inscriptions) as a documentary heritage under the UNESCO Memory of the World for the Asia-Pacific Region Programme.
According to Head of the Management Board of the Marble Mountains Tourist Area Nguyen Van Hien, since the beginning of the year, the tourist area has welcomed a total of 358,000 visitors with a monthly average of more than 100,000, accounting for about one-third of the same period in 2019. The majority of visitors come from South Korea, China, India and Europe.
“The Chinese tourist market has recently grown again, opening up a good opportunity for the tourist area to welcome more visitors. Therefore, the management board has prioritised promoting the images of the heritages, and improving the quality of staff and guides with the aim to give visitors a better understanding of the values of the heritages” Mr. Hien said.
Chairman of the Ngu Hanh Son District People's Committee Nguyen Hoa remarked aside from the recognised heritages, the district houses many valuable relics and antiques, along with historical destinations such as temples, pagodas, secret shelters, and the K20 revolutionary base area.
“The reality proves that cultural heritage always creates attractiveness for tourist destinations. The Marble Mountains tourist area has a great attraction thanks to its national and international values associated with the story of the land and people of Da Nang. Therefore, the locality always tries to awaken the existing values of the tourist spot in order for both locals and tourists to explore and learn more about the hidden values of this relic site. Importance has been attached to calling on the community to be involved in tourism business, thereby contributing to raising the income for locals and developing the local economy in association with the protection and promotion values of landscapes” Mr. Hoa emphasised.
The Marble Mountains Tourist Area is always an inviting destination for both domestic and foreign tourists. Photo: N. Quang
Towards sustainable tourism development
Along with ‘awakening’ heritages for tourism development, preserving the core values of the heritages is also very important.
According to Director of the Da Nang Museum Huynh Dinh Quoc Thien, welcoming more than 1 million visitors within a year affirms the value and stature of the Marble Mountains complex. The problem here is that the exploitation, management and promotion of the tourist area should not follow the trend of market economic development but should be directed towards sustainable development.
Currently, information about 4 national and international heritages and monuments in Ngu Hanh Son District and other destinations of historical and cultural significance are digitised and fully updated on the digital heritage map for conservation and research.
Therefore, the museum has cooperated with the Tourism Promotion Centre under the municipal Department of Tourism to update knowledge related to heritage values located in the scenic complex.
In 2023, the unit plans to organise 10 training courses on ‘ma nhai’ for more than 1,000 international and domestic tour guides, Mr. Thien added.
According to Mr. Nguyen Hoa, in order to preserve and promote the cultural and historical values associated with the Marble Mountains, the locality has promoted many specific activities. In particular, the district authorities have invited experts at the Department of Cultural Heritage to study and propse a plan to preserve all 78 ‘ma nhai’, used modern lighting technology for visitors to admire without affecting the original elements, digitised ‘ma nhai’ in 6 languages and attached introduction boards and QR codes so that visitors can scan and read the content, and introduced 26 fully translated ‘ma nhai’ originals to university students.
“We advise the municipal People's Committee to develop a master plan of the Marble Mountains with 112ha for the Prime Minister's approval. The purpose is to develop this area into a cultural park, and an attractive destination for tourists, hereby promoting the history, economy and culture of the scenic spots towards the future sustainable development" Mr. Nguyen Hoa noted.
Reporting by N.Quang, X.Hau - Translating by M.Dung