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Valuing the Economic Benefits of Preserving Cultural Heritage: The My Son Sanctuary World Heritage Site in Vietnam

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This study estimates the value of the preservation of a World Heritage Site in Vietnam, the My Son Temple complex in Quanguam province. Despite its designation, the site is in poor repair and is in danger from the ravages of the weather and from the pressure of visitor numbers. Two complementary approaches - the Contingent Valuation (CV) method and the Choice Experiment (CE) method - were used to gauge the value that foreign and local visitors placed on the temple's preservation. It was found that foreign visitors in particular would be willing to pay substantially more than the current entrance fee to ensure the temple's safe future. This represents a significant new potential source of income. In light of this finding, the report recommends a new dual tariff system. The fact that the temple is considered to be so important also provides a vital justification for continued investment in cultural heritage conservation, not just in Vietnam, but elsewhere in the region.

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