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Southwestern University

Publication Date

Spring 2010

Program Name

Viet Nam: National Development and Globalization


Following the achievement of World Heritage site status in 1999, Hoi An shifted from a primarily agricultural economy to a primarily tourism-oriented economy. This economy is based on the idea of heritage tourism, focused mostly on preserved tangible heritage but increasingly accompanied by attempts to preserve and capitalize on intangible heritage. As the heritage tourism industry grows, the city of Hoi An must make constant decisions as to the nature and goals of the ideas of preservation and authenticity and their interplay with economics and the forces of globalization. The city has consequently had to balance the many conflicting demands of these ideals, which leads to conundrums for officials, as well as challenges and even crises for local people. The sustainability of the heritage tourism industry depends on the city’s ability to carefully perform this balancing act.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Tourism


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