The Mekong Tourism Development Project is a Lao Government initiative financed by Asia Development Bank. The Lao National Tourism Administration of Lao PDR is responsible for implementation of the project.
The project’s goals are to reduce poverty in the country, contribute to economic growth, increase employment and promote the conservation of the nature and cultural heritage. The specific objectives of the project are to promote sustainable tourism in the lower Mekong basin countries through improving high priority, tourism related infrastructure in Lao PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam, supporting community-based tourism in the rural areas of these countries, and strengthening sub-regional cooperation. The project was run from 2003-2007.
A major component of this project is to develop equitable CBT programs in Luang Prabang, Luang Namtha, Khammouane, and Champasack Provinces.
The provincial Tourism Departments in each of the provinces are supporting the development of CBT by:
Promoting sustainable tourism networks and stakeholder association.
- Identifying and developing new tourism products in rural areas.
- Building awareness in communities about tourism and environmental and cultural conservation.
- Supporting ethnic minority and gender-sensitive action plans.
- Developing small scale tourism support infrastructure such as information centers, community lodges and boat landings which are designed to be sustainable operated by local people.
- Supporting the development of tourism related-micro enterprises.