Becoming Inspired in Phuket – Danang from Vietnam Visits Its Best Practice Partner

Becoming Inspired in Phuket – Danang from Vietnam Visits Its Best Practice Partner
17/11/2011

Thailand

13 – 17 November 2011. When a delegation from Danang finally met their best practice counterparts in Old Phuket, the visitors took some valuable lessons home with them: the successful preservation of the old town owed much to community participation as well as the excellent cooperation between central and local government.

After nearly a year of cooperating from afar, the delegation from Danang, consisting of eight representatives of the Danang task force as well as ACVN and DELGOSEA Vietnam, was excited to actually see their partner town. A long list of questions had been compiled and the visitors were eager to explore the approach and the methodology used to increase the tourism potential of Old Phuket.

The aim of the trip was to find out more about Old Phuket's best practice in preserving its architectural heritage and reviving tradition as tourist attractions and engine of economic growth. The delegation met with their counterparts in Phuket for an intensive exchange of experiences, enjoying particularly the detailed introduction by a local expert, Dr Yongthanit Pimonsatein, of how the town started the conservation process and the revival of old traditions.

The field visit, where the participants had the chance to wander through the streets and examine the progress that had been made, was inspiring - it became clear how heritage, not just beaches and hotels could attract tourists to Danang as well. The delegation was well briefed by the different stakeholders, who were involved in making the project a success: the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture as well as representatives of the private sector, civil society and the Old Town community.

The visit was seen as very informative and the participants felt that their understanding of how to use the model of Old Phuket and apply it to their own city has been much approved. The study tour will definitely influence the way Danang proceeds with the replication; changes to the logical framework are being made already.

The visitors only wished that there had been even more time for them to air questions and engage in deeper discussions with their counterparts. Looks as if another visit is needed soon!