Commodification and Politicization of Heritage: Implications for Heritage Tourism at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Hanoi (Vietnam)

  • Huong T. Bui College of Asia Pacific Studies Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU)
  • Timothy J. Lee College of Asia Pacific Studies Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU)
Keywords: Commodification, Heritage, Identity, Tourism, UNESCO World Heritage

Abstract

The current study deconstructs the process of turning heritage resources into tourism products. A case study of the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi, provides an in-depth understanding of the plural use of heritage. Findings from the study reveal issues of heritage dissonance inherent in the process of resource selection, interpretation, and targeting for different audiences. It is apparent that commodification cannot be separated from the politicization of heritage. In the case of heritage of national importance and international significance, politicization has been prioritized and results in diminishing the utilization of heritage for commercial purposes such as tourism.

Author Biographies

Huong T. Bui, College of Asia Pacific Studies Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU)
Dr. Huong T. Bui is Assistant Professor of Tourism and Hospitality. Her research interest is heritage tourism and dark tourism in Southeast Asia.
Timothy J. Lee, College of Asia Pacific Studies Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU)
Dr. Timothy Lee is Professor of Tourism and Hospitality at APU. His research interest is heritage tourism, medical tourism and dark tourism in Asia Pacific region.
Published
2015-12-28
How to Cite
Bui, H. and Lee, T. (2015) “Commodification and Politicization of Heritage: Implications for Heritage Tourism at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Hanoi (Vietnam)”, Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 8(2), pp. 187-202. doi: https://doi.org/10.14764/10.ASEAS-2015.2-5.
Section
Current Research on Southeast Asia