As Pine and Gilmore ( 1998 ) coin the construct of a new economic epoch: the “ experience economic system ” when clients are looking for exceeding and unforgettable experiences, it is obvious that touristry, like many other industries, is endlessly acquiring involved in experience economic system and must bring forth more experience merchandises. Many states throughout the universe have targeted touristry as a driving-force for development, and Vietnam is non an exclusion. However, there is deficiency of academic research on the relationship of the experience economic system and the touristry development in Vietnam. Therefore, the intent of this paper is to analyze the instance of Cu Chi, where experience economic system has changed a war-devastated country in Southern Vietnam into a popular tourer finish. Hence, the aim of this paper is double: to look into the affect of experience economic system on Cu Chi, and to place the experience merchandises of this finish. Based on the findings, some practical attacks for touristry sustainable development planning of Cu Chi are so proposed.
In the ‘experience economic system ‘ , Pine And Gilmore ( 1998 ) uncover a new epoch of economic system in which people are attracted by meaningful experiences and intangible things alternatively of tangibles like old ages earlier. This experience economic system is turning really fast thanks to the great demand of clients for affectional memories, esthesis and symbolism which combine to make a holistic and durable personal experience. New selling attacks besides shift from merchandise properties and quality to experiences that dazzle client ‘s senses, ‘engage them personally ‘ , ‘touch their Black Marias ‘ and ‘stimulate their heads ‘ ( e.g. Schmitt, 2003 ; Gentile, Spiller and Noci, 2007 ) . Therefore, Pine and Gilmore ( 1998 ) suggest concerns or finishs should add excess value to their offerings in order to supply unforgettable, satisfactory experiences to their clients. If companies can make personal experiences to clients, they will hold sustainable competitory advantage ( McCole, 2004 ; Prahalad and Ramaswany, 2004 ; Shaw and Ivens, 2005 ) . The experience economic system besides employs the construct of the “ Creative Class ” , which has been named by Richard Florida in his book – The Rise of the Creative Class ( 2002 ) . The Creative Class are non restricted in any set program, but they have freedom to execute a more flexible 1. This differentiation still makes up the nucleus significance of the experience economic system: The industry grows by a flexibleness dictated by the involvements and wonder of its clients.
Like other states throughout the universe, Vietnam has targeted touristry as the chief industry for economic system thriving. Across the state, many finishs was renovated and developed in order to pull international and domestic tourers. Cu Chi, a suburban territory of Ho Chi Minh City in South Vietnam, which was well-known for ferocious conflicts between Viet Cong ( Vietnamese Communist ) guerrilla forces and U.S Army during the peak-period of Vietnam War ( 1961 – 1972 ) , has become a popular sight-seeing. Cu Chi is a great illustration about how a despoiled country has been revitalized with strong elements of an experience based industry. Nevertheless, with the rapid growing of tourers coming to this territory, it is necessary to use proper planning for touristry sustainable development in Cu Chi.
The Four Dimensions of the Experience Economy and Tourism
Tourism industry has come into a new epoch of high competition and challenge to make separating features of tourer experiences ( Perdue, 2002 ) . This industry is an illustration of the growing of experience economic system shown in earlier literatures ( Cohen, 1979 ) . What tourists get is experiences characterized by unique, emotionally charged and of high personal value ( McIntosh and Siggs, 2005 ) . Sternberg ( 1997:954 ) farther argued that “ tourers are tourers because they want to counterbalance for their layman, disenchanted mundane lives through a impermanent exposure to the other – to the adventuresome, foreign, ancient, or dramatic. Tourism constitutions make it their concern to form, bundle and sell such experiences ” . Many literatures have tried to place tourer experiences from a figure of positions ( Jackson, White and Schmierer, 1996 ; Prentice, Witt and Hamer, 1998 ; Li, 2000 ) . The personal and affectional dimensions of tourers ‘ experiences in natural and heritage environments have been revealed in many surveies ( Schanzel and McIntosh, 2000 ) . Tourists ‘ experiences of bad escapade and leisure activities have besides become the chief subject of other research workers ( e.g. Arnould and Price, 1993 ; Celci et al. , 1993 ) . These academic plants have founded the significance and relation of understanding tourers ‘ experiences. There are four dimensions of experience which relate to touristry, which are:
- Education: Pine and Gilmore ‘s ( 1998 ) explored that clients are motivated to ‘learn something new ‘ because an instruction experience actively engages their head and fascinate them. Consumers besides take an of import portion in co-determining their experience. By acquiring an educational experience, consumers can better their cognition and accomplishments. Within touristry context, the desire to self-educate is a cardinal motivation factor to go ( Prentice, 2004 ) .
- Escape: Tourism offers abundant opportunities for escapist experiences. Vacations are ways for “ escape AIDSs, job convergent thinkers, providers of strength, energy, new lifeblood and felicity ” ( Krippendorf, 1987: 17 ) . Tourists can acquire off from the day-to-day modus operandi of life by going ( Uriely, 2005 ) . Cohen ( 1979 ) besides points out travellers are inspired to seek for a ‘self-centre ‘ elsewhere off from mundane activities. Therefore, they are in hunt for fulfilling and reliable experiences ( Turner, 1973 ) .
- Entertainment: Entertainment is considered as the basic and traditional signifier of experience, consumers get involved in amusement passively. Pine and Gilmore ( 1998 ) note that companies are now ‘stages ‘ used to ‘delight and entertain frequenters ‘ . Many tourer finishs are well-known for the degree, assortment and quality of their offers because amusement per se remains a cardinal portion of the touristry merchandise ( Hughes and Benn, 1995 ) .
- Aestheticss: This dimension concerns how consumers interpret the physical environment around them. There are three facets of physical environment categorized by Bitner ( 1992 ) : ‘ambient conditions ‘ ; ‘spatial layout and functionality ‘ ; and ‘signs, symbols and artefacts ‘ . In the literature of touristry and cordial reception, Bonn et al. , ( 2007 ) referred that the physical environment of tourer attractive forces is the cardinal function in modulating visitants ‘ attitudes, future backing purposes and preparedness to urge.
Events, which are deliberately designed to convey meaningful experiences to the invitees disbursement clip at that place, are agencies of experience production ( Boswijk, Thijssen, & A ; Peelen, 2007 ) . In the instance of Cu Chi, populating resistance in the bantam tunnel web or holding repasts like guerrillas, the value of the experience is the indispensable portion. Experiences have bit by bit become the hottest trade good, and this phenomena takes topographic point in the heads of persons, non merely for rich people, but in assorted signifier of ingestion and behaviour ( Boswjik & A ; Thijssen, 2007 ) . Since the features of experiences are personal, intangible and continuously on-going, it is debatable for markets to fulfill those demands ( O’Dell, 2005 ) . There are besides arguments on in which conditions experiences can happen. Florida ( 2002:166 ) argues about the Creative Class life style as “ a passionate pursuit for experience ” ( 2002: 166 ) , they fill their lives up with intensive, high quality, multidimensional experiences. The Creative Class are acute on active instead than inactive experiences, they prefer the ingestion of experiences to traditional goods and services ( Florida, 2002 ; George & A ; Henthorne, 2007 ) . Due to the visual aspect and growing of The Creative Class, experience production becomes the chief concern of many tourer finishs all over the universe. This paper relates to Cu Chi context and depict how experience is produced at this topographic point every bit good as its influence on the larger scenes.
Cu Chi in Vietnam War
The history of foundation
Cu Chi Tunnel is 70 kilometer from Ho Chi Minh City in the Northwest where its earliest tunnels were established in 1948 at two small towns Tan Phu Trung and Phuoc Vinh An. In the beginning, they were short and simple composites for concealing paperss, arms, maintaining Viet Cong officers runing in enemy rears. Subsequently, the tunnels were expanded to many vicinity small towns. From 1961 to 1965, the chief construction of the tunnel called the “ Spinal Tunnel ” was finished in the country within five northern small towns of Cu Chi District. Rooted from this “ frame ” , subdivision tunnels connected with the “ Spinal Tunnel ” and made them into intercommunicated tunnel systems. In order to ease the guerrilla war, Cu Chi Tunnel was expanded quickly to counter attack the invasion of Americans. In the peak period of Vietnam War ( 1966-1972 ) , America Army performed assorted schemes by finding to extinguish the revolution forces of Cu Chi: 1. Using H2O to interrupt down the whole web, 2.Deploying the “ sewer-rat ” ground forces to assail the tunnel, 3. Using mechanical vehicles to pulverize the construction, 4.Using Becgie Canis familiariss to assail guerilla forces, 5. Seeding grass to destruct terrain. They besides deployed the best divisions ( Division No. 1, “ Red Eldest Brother ” , Division 25 “ Tropical Light ” etc… ) supported by armored combat vehicles, armoured autos, and heavy weapon every bit good as air forces to “ pass over out ” the whole territory.
However, the American suffered serious amendss in Cu Chi and failed to accomplish their ends to halt Viet Cong. The tunnel web proved its astonishing verve while its subdivisions stretched to everywhere within country. By 1967, the whole system reached the entire lengths over 200 kilometers. Tunnel dredging became a motion of Cu Chi people at that clip with the engagement of olds, immature, adult females and work forces for contending against America Army. More surprisingly, after the war, there are many paperss researching that Cu Chi people merely use crude equipments such as hoes and bamboo-plaited dustpans to construct up a great “ belowground small town ” with 100s of kilometer of traversing tunnels in Earth uterus. The whole web was invariably improved under the top-secret fortunes ; guerrilla forces must transport and conceal 1000s of dirt metric metres to other topographic points. Many methods were applied such as pouring down to afloat bomb holes, embanking into ant hills, pouring to Fieldss and works above… . to clean the paths that could take to the assaults of America ground forces on the tunnel. From the Cu Chi Tunnels, Viet Cong could run large-scale and sudden counter-attack which became frequent menaces to enemies during the war.
The belowground web of Cu Chi tunnel is a complex twisted in Earth uteruss withmany long, short subdivisions rooted from the “ Spinal ” tunnel and intercommunicated to each terrain. When being attacked, guerrilla forces can get away through many mercantile establishments of subdivisions taking to Saigon River. There are different beds of tunnels from 03 metre to 06 metre deepness which can maintain Viet Cong safe from cannons and weights of armoured autos, the deepest parts can even stand for little bombs. The tallness and breadth of the Cu Chi tunnel is simply 50 centimeter, hence, the common manner for traveling resistance is crawling. Entrances and issues of the web are carefully camouflaged where some defense-points established to halt enemies or chemicals sprayed by enemies. For airing, air holes are set up to the land under screen via many secret doors. A “ lifelessly land ” was settled environing the tunnel web ; it included antitank mines, traps, platforms for hiting choppers in order to forestall enemies nearing closed. Between the tunnels, there are compartments for day-to-day activities with storage of arms, grains, nutrients, imbibing H2O. Peoples could cook in secret belowground by Hoang Cam ranges which were designed for concealing fume in dirt. There are besides subterraneous medical Stationss, offices of leader, and meeting suites for executing music and art.
Thankss to its durable system, Cu Chi tunnels could stand until spring 1975, when the state was unified and Vietnam War came to an terminal.
Cu Chi as a tourer attractive force
After Vietnam War, Cu Chi territory is the most devastated country of Southern Vietnam with scattered community ; the life quality of Cu Chi people is besides much lower in comparing with that of its vicinity parts. Since the redevelopment policies of Vietnam authorities in 1986, Cu Chi has been targeted as the chief tourer attractive force of Vietnam where alone goods offered to tourers: war experiences. It can be considered as merchandise or service inventions of Cu Chi due to “ alterations straight observed by the client and regarded as new ; either in the sense of ne’er seen earlier, or new to the peculiar endeavor or finish ” ( Hjalager, 2010:2 ) .
The invention of the whole country
Based on the war leftover of Cu Chi, since 1990 this country has been bit by bit renovated which is called Cu Chi Tunnels Historical Monument Area. In this procedure, the governments have tried their best to maintain original actualities in order to offers opportunities of sing and researching to international and domestic tourers. The liberty country of Cu Chi, where was one time called “ Fe land ” of guerrilla forces in war period, is reappeared while five staged-locations is reinstated to picture Special War and Local War of American Army. Underground, there are 09 tunnel stratum infinites doing up the “ motherland supernatural speculation ” symbol.
To run into the demands of tourers coming to this finish, Cu Chi Tunnels Historical Monument Area has been invariably upgraded and it presently includes two subdivisions:
- Ben Duoc Tunnels Historical Monument Area: 75 kilometer from Ho Chi Minh centre within the entire square of 89 hectares of Phu Hiep and Phu My Hung small town. The chief attractive forces of this country are:
- Tunnel country for sing includes 02 bases with 15 hectares
- The Martyr Temple of 07 hectares
- The Liberty Area rebuilt of 50 hectares
- The National defence athletics shooting-gallery of 03 hectares
- Statement hall and operation country of 01 hectare
- Sport land, grove and remainder houses of 01 hectare
- Base for sightseeing tunnels of 03 hectares
- Rebuilding historical services of 01 hectare
“ Combat small towns ” – a particular signifier of touristry
The aim of the theoretical account of “ Combat small towns ” is to bring forth existent war experience for tourers. In combat small towns, there are typical houses stand foring day-to-day life in war. All houses are decorated precisely the same manner in the past with shelters, traditional furniture such as bamboo tabular array, rock howitzer. Statues are designed to reconstruct lively sceneries such as secret meeting of guerillas, instructors giving talks to kids under war conditions etc. In some houses, there are histrions and actresses playing activities such as milling flour, doing intoxicant or baking. Tourists can take portion in these actions or remain at houses for lively experiences. The circuit ushers in guerrilla apparels are in charge of construing the significance, history and map of the whole system. After going on the land, tourers continue to roll up new experiences by acquiring in the tunnel. Inside the tunnel, tourers may be impressed on how Cu Chi guerillas can populate underground for many old ages and most of travellers are acute on analyzing about alone ways for endurance in terrible conditions of war period.
Milieus the tunnel are plentiful material groundss such as armoured armored combat vehicles, bulldozers, choppers, canons, bombs and so on collected from America Army. Tourists are embedded in the war experiences every bit good as holding a opportunity to self-educate about the history of the war and the value of peace.
The hiting country offers excited experience to tourers where all sorts of guns used by Cu Chi guerrilla in the yesteryear are presented. Tourists can seek different types of arm and if they can hit the mark, they are awarded particular local gifts, for case, bandana, broad-brimmed cap…
The finish besides provides abundant tourer services: traditional-cuisine eating houses, adjustment, bivouacing country, conference installations, boat jaunt on Saigon River, electric auto services for sightseeing, souvenir stores with gifts made from staying war garbages, such as cartridge, gun fragment, guerrilla uniforms… The whole country is highly-commercialized, and with the figure of about one million tourer reachings in 2007, Cu Chi seems to win in pulling both international and domestic tourers when showing such particular experiences as Berridge ( 2007:14 ) argued: “ At the root of this point is the thought that an event, for some stakeholders but non all, is an activity that is, at that point, intend to be alone and memorable ”
Suggestions for sustainable touristry development planning in Cu Chi
There are obvious groundss demoing this long clip war-suffered territory has been revitalized and quickly developed thanks to touristry industry. However, it is necessary for the direction board to use some patterns for sustainable touristry development planning at the finish. The UN study: “ Pull offing sustainable touristry development ” ( Commission, 2001: 50 ) has been referred for suggesting the undermentioned guidelines:
- The people of Cu Chi should take the chief function in keeping control over touristry development. At present, this tourer finish is under the direction of Ho Chi Minh City Military Headquarters, which are province functionaries, while the local people get involved trivially in the development procedure of touristry. I believe that the experience economic system can merely boom when there is constitution of functional and professional relationships at several degrees in Cu Chi.
- The benefits must be distributed loosely and every bit every bit good as planning requires local community input. Staff, the community and the tourers need more than “ Value for money ” . As many researches have pointed out that the best investing for a sustainable life style of local community is to put up a just distribution of benefits. This rule is besides true for the instance of Cu Chi. By giving them better chances of employment, instruction and preparation, Cu Chi people can heighten their accomplishments and better control over their ain lives. From the tourer point of view, it is of import to convey travellers closer into the local community every bit good as satisfy their outlooks and supply a high quality tourer experience. Presently, there are indicants of unsustainable development of Cu Chi, for case, many local merchandises sold to tourers are wild animate beings, this sort of goods must be prohibited and the eco-friendly 1s should be encouraged. Besides, while local concerns try to maximise their net income and fulfill the addition of tourers ‘ demand, the waste intervention system has still non been established in this country.
- Marketing for sustainable touristry must be in harmoniousness between the demands of the visitant, the topographic point and the community. Experience economic system establishing on the touristry industry significantly depends on the picks and determinations of tourer enterprisers, the tourers and the governments. Therefore, the aim of touristry selling is to better the procedure of gestating and developing those specific touristry merchandises, which better matching to different tourer classs ‘ demands ( Muhcina, 2008 ) . In this sense, Cu chi needs harmonious policies to advance touristry merchandises and to fulfill the existent and future tourers ‘ demands, by utilizing the natural environment elements in an equilibrated manner. The environing part of Cu Chi with great landscape can be a solution for diversifying and offering assorted possible ecotourism merchandises.
Harmonizing to World Travel and Tourism Council in 2007, touristry industry is forecasted to bring forth dual income within the following 15 old ages. Experience economic system born by this industry can convey chances to developing states in the procedure of development. In the instance of Cu Chi, this finish has been surprisingly benefited by its war leftovers as many people have said that they even can “ sell a war ” . The whole territory has been revived and go a competitory finish with turning income and position. However, there is a double-affect of this type of finish development. It offers new opportunities to the local community while at the same time doing possible hazards for the country, its people and resources. Hence, to accomplish the aim of sustainable touristry development, Cu Chi must better the quality and singularity of experiences supplying for clients along with puting up a program of development that takes local puting into consideration. This finish should non merely lodge to the experience of the past war but besides needs to fix better for the hereafter. The extroverted phase of touristry development in Cu Chi should be considered as a new chance, non simply challenges, as Jensen declared in his book-Dream Society ( 2007:24 ) : “ If you see the hereafter as an obstruction, you are walking in the incorrect way ” .
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