If there’s one thing South Africa can learn from Vietnam, it’s to embrace and showcase its UNESCO World Heritage sites.
I know we embrace and love our natural, cultural and historical heritage, don’t get me wrong. But reflecting on a trip through Vietnam, I think we can do better to promote these sites as sustainable tourist attractions.
Our countries have the same number of Heritage Sites, and yet a typical Vietnam travellers’ guide would lead you straight to their UNESCO declared wonders first.
In SA, apart from Robben Island in Cape Town, visitors to our country often only learn about the rich cultural heritage of the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape or the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape after they’ve ticked off all the ‘other’ travel hotspots like Cape Town, the Garden Route and the Kruger National Park.