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Sustainable Tourism Laos

Laos is a mountainous country that is thickly forested. Agriculture is the country’s main industry. Increasing numbers of tourist arrivals, attracted by the rich cultural heritage and natural scenery, are impacting the country’s environment as the country struggles to handle the increased use of fresh water, sewage treatment and other demands on the public works system.

Tourism jobs are sought after by the country’s youth who seek higher pay and the ability to interact with foreigners. Salary is generally higher than those in the state sector or manufacturing industry, increased competition has mean that pay has fallen for recent graduates, and remains quite low across the hotel and hospitality industries.

In terms of the social impact of tourism, Laos has not been affected as strongly as neighboring Thailand. Change has come quickly however, particularly in the capital, Vientiene, Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang. These centers receive the most tourist visitors, and the opening of travelers hostels, internet cafes and travel agencies has impacted not only the physical appearance of these cities, but the local populations perceptions about work and money.

Laos Tourism Network
The organization was established to help promote the sustainability of the Lao tourism industry for the local population.

This article is quoted from the Tourism ROI Newsletter published on 2009-07.30.

This article is written by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’.

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Posted in Development, Performance and management, Sustainability.

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