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Bradford plays leading role in World Heritage Site study

Published: Tue 1 Dec 2015
Bradford plays leading role in World Heritage Site study

A team of tourism specialists from leading Vietnamese and UK universities, including Bradford, has completed an international research project on the impacts of tourism on World Heritage Site Ha Long Bay, in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam.

Dr Pham Hong Long, Dean of the Faculty of Tourism, Vietnam National University Hanoi, Dr Mark Hampton, University of Kent, and Dr Julia Jeyacheya of the Centre for International Development, University of Bradford, carried out the fieldwork.

Key project findings were presented by the team at an International Workshop on Coastal Tourism held at Vietnam National University. Delegates attended from the tourism industry, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), the Responsible Tourism Club, university academics and postgraduate students.

The project examined the main social and economic impacts of tourism in Ha Long Bay. For the economic impacts, the research found increasing local economic benefits from direct and indirect employment in the tourism industry as well as from the tourist spend in the local economy on food, drink, accommodation, local transport and souvenirs. The construction of the cable car, new hotels and beach developments in the Bay Chai tourist zone will transform tourism and offer more business opportunities.

The huge growth in tourism to Ha Long Bay (pictured) has created employment and opportunities for local people. The research also showed that economic linkages to the local economy could be strengthened further to capture more benefits locally from tourism.

Dr Jeyacheya said, “University collaboration in tourism research is very important and particularly for those working in international development.  Tourism is a critical socio-economic component for many developing countries and through this type of collaboration, there is great opportunity for knowledge exchange and cultural understanding.”

The year-long collaborative project to develop research links between Vietnam and the UK was funded by the British Council and the University of Kent's Business School.

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