ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Three Mekong countries to issue tourism guide
According to a joint release, up to 30 activities, attractions or outlets in each country will be profiled in one publication to drive tourism business towards activities that minimize negative tourism impacts, create income for local people and involve them in running the business, conserve natural and cultural heritage, provide meaningful experiences for tourists, help local people and visitors with physical disabilities, and build respect between visitors and hosts.
Approximately 90 activities that meet the majority of these criteria will be profiled, including guides and tours, accommodation, restaurants, handicraft outlets, development projects and volunteer opportunities.
The responsible tourism guide book will make it easier for tourists to join activities such as trekking responsibly with hilltribes, buying handicrafts made by people with disabilities and positively engaging with school children, villagers and local people at village level.
The guide is being financed by the Lao National Tourism Administration (LNTA), the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, and the Ministry of Tourism in Cambodia.
Funds for the writing, design and printing of the book have been made available to the three countries by the Asian Development Bank through its Mekong Tourism Development Project.
“Throughout the Mekong subregion, tourism is growing quickly,” said Asian Development Bank (ADB) senior economist Alfredo Perdiguero.
“Our aim now is to channel that growth more equitably towards sustainable and responsible tourism operators that help us conserve culture and at the same time fight poverty.”
Perdiguero added that millions of people in the subregion still lived on less than US$1.00 a day. Statistics from the Pacific Asia Travel Association issued this month show that international tourism visitor arrivals year to date are growing at a rate of over 22% into Cambodia, 14% into Vietnam and 20 percent into Laos. Source: Mekong Tourism Development Project