The Hanoitimes - The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in co-ordination with the People’s Committees of Hanoi and Quang Ninh province and Vietnam Television, organised a ceremony at My Dinh stadium in Hanoi last night to celebrate Ha Long Bay being officially named as one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
In his opening speech, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh highlighted the significance of the campaign to vote for Ha Long Bay as a World Wonder, saying that it had attracted ten millions of Vietnamese people, international friends and visitors, which has contributed to the success of Ha Long today.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan thanked the Vietnamese as well as the international friends, who enthusiastically voted for Ha Long over the past four years. He also said he hopes the local authorities and relevant agencies will make more efforts to preserve the site and bring the natural value of the bay into full play.
At the ceremony, President of the New7Wonders Foundation, Bernard Weber, presented a commemorative plaque recognising Ha Long Bay as one of the seven new natural wonders to Minister Hoang Tuan Anh and Chairman of the Quang Ninh Provincial People's Committee, Nguyen Van Doc.
After the official ceremony in Hanoi , the same plaque will be given to the Quang Ninh authorities on May 1 at the 2012 Ha Long Tourism Week.
The event in Hanoi was followed by an art performance with two thousand professional and amateur artists. The show also featured examples of Veitnam's intangible cultural heritage such as Phu Tho Xoan Singing, quan ho (northern love duets), ca tru (chamber singing), nha nhac ( Hue royal music), and the gongs of the Central Highlands.
Ha Long Bay was selected from more than 440 locations in 220 countries and finally was voted one of the new seven natural wonders of the world along with the Amazon (South America), Iguazu Falls (Argentina and Brazil), Jeju Island (the Republic of Korea), Komodo Island (Indonesia), Puerto Princesa Underground River (the Philippines) and Table Mountain (South Africa).
Ha Long Bay was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, in recognition of its outstanding, universal aesthetic appeal. In 2000, the World Heritage Committee additionally recognised Ha Long Bay for its outstanding geological value, said Vice PM Nhan.
He hoped that the event would bring inspiration, national pride, create motivation and participation on themes everyone could understand, themes that had real and lasting value. However he noted it was a big responsibility for Vietnam and Quang Ninh Province authorities to preserve Ha Long Bay.