Tourism Studies 24
2021-03-15 発行

Cultural heritage commodification : A case study of the Hue Capital Citadel, Hue city, Vietnam

Cultural heritage commodification : A case study of the Hue Capital Citadel, Hue city, Vietnam
Le Ngoc Bao
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Keywords Alternative
cultural heritage
heritage commodification
Tu Phuong Vo Su Pavilion
the Citadel
Hue city
Abstract Alternative
The term ‘heritage’ carries various meanings depending on the context considered. Although no one definition is enough to define the term, it is widely agreed that heritage is a source of social and cultural identity, and can even create a sense of wonderment for those living within the site. Unfortunately, heritage is also subject to commercial exploitation or commodification. The commodification of cultural heritage has become increasingly common due to its economic importance and the desire to share one’s culture with others. However, the commodification of heritage raises concerns of cultural authenticity and the ability of the local government to value heritage without privileging its economic turnover This paper examines cultural heritage commodification through a case study of the Tu Phuong Vo Su (TPVS) Pavilion located within the Hue Citadel area of the Complex of Hue Monuments UNESCO World Heritage site, Vietnam. This study investigates the commodification of the TPVS Pavilion by analyzing the contents of five news accounts reporting on the topic from the three major online media channels in Vietnam. The news accounts suggest the TPVS Pavilion went through a significant commodification process during its recent tourism development and that the supposed‘ tourist demands for services’ was used by the Hue Monument Conservation Center (HMCC) as a justification for privatizing the cultural heritage space. The local government represented by the HMCC, who is accountable and responsible for maintaining the authenticity and value of the site, should prioritize the social and cultural values for the local residents. The essence of the TPVS Pavilion should be held at a higher importance than the economic benefits that the commodification process encourages.
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