Ha Long Bay, located in the northeastern Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh, is a region of competing interests. The area includes a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) and is experiencing intense development pressure as one corner of Vietnam's northern economic triangle. The recent influx of both domestic and international tourists and associated urban development coupled with the impact of well established industries of coal mining and shipping is placing pressure on the area. The management of these industries and the desire to preserve the bay's unique environmental qualities has contributed to a range of conflicts in which economic development compromises long term heritage conservation. The relationship between discourses of destruction and the work of conservation is common to many WHSs. Through an analysis of key stakeholders and the different industries operating in the WHS of Ha Long Bay, this paper offer insights into the nature of the conflict focusing specifically on tourism and associated development. It explores the process and progress of a recent development, the Ha Long Bay Ecomuseum initiative, that aims to address and balance the needs and interests of key stakeholders located in and around the WHS.
- heritage conflict
- tourism development