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Workshop on Expanding the Role of Tourism in Poverty Reduction 24 October 2007 Nuku’alofa Poverty Reduction through Tourism – The Experiences in Asia Ryuji Yamakawa UNESCAP Presentation Outline Tourism in Asia. Tourism and Poverty Reduction.
Poverty Reduction through Tourism – The Experiences in Asia
Implementing organization: Lao National Tourism Administration
Project Implementing Units of Luang Namtha, Luang Prabang, Khammouane and Champasak Provinces.
Cooperation organizations: Committee for Planning and Investment
Ministry of Culture and Information
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction
Science, Technology and Environment Agency
Project funding: $1.6 million US dollars from ADB.
Project site: Luang Namtha, Luang Prabang, Khammouane and Champasak Provinces.
Project duration: January 2003 – December 2007 (5 years).
(i) Institutional strengthening and community participation programme.
(ii) Awareness programme on tourism benefits and environmental and cultural conservation.
(iii) Pro-poor tourism products identification and development.
(iv) Small-scale tourism-related infrastructure.
(v) Capacity building for tourism-related local micro-enterprises and communities.
(vi) Gender development participation programme.
Project performance monitoring system:
- 300 jobs created in Luang Namtha.
- Over 75% were in extreme poverty.
- Number of women employed : 140.
- Target villages increased cash income by up to 35%.
- poorest villages + tourist attractions.
- easy to access.
- located within a tourist circuit.
- market demand for the “product” exists.
- villagers should be interested in developing tourism.
- safety should be a consideration.
- a measurable link between tourism, heritage conservation
and economic development.
- Develop community-based tourism circuits in villages where there are potential tourist attractions (trekking, home stay, etc.).
- Research and develop supply chains between production villages and tourist markets.
- Villages that host tourists overnight gain the greatest benefits from CBT, but income might not be distributed widely.
- Encourage villages to participate from the beginning in the planning process of CBT development at the village level (design of tours).
- Ensure that rotational service roster is followed closely to allow everyone a fair chance at gaining income from tourists.
- Allow poorest families priority access to village development funds in order to help them to integrate into home stay rotations.
- Establish a village based ecotourism committee with a revolving leadership that includes women.
- Build tourist facilities and small scale infrastructure facilities such as community lodge, toilets, viewing points, rest area, information board, cultural centre, and ethnic minority markets.
- Cooperation with the private sector for marketing CBT products and maintenance of community lodges and trekking trails.
Pro-poor tourism projects often require investments in small infrastructure, and when possible should be built by the intended beneficiaries themselves, with local contributions of resources to the highest extent possible.
Recommendations(1) To enhance the understanding needed to give priority to tourism development in national development strategies, policies, regulations, plans and the allocation of resources
(a) Improve national tourism statistics and indicators, including indicators of the socio-economic, cultural and environmental impact;
(b) Undertake analytical studies on the socio-economic impact of tourism;
(c) Undertake case studies on tourism initiatives aimed at socio-economic development and poverty reduction;
(d) Undertake public relations programmes and media activities to enhance awareness about the role of tourism in socio-economic development and poverty reduction.
(2) To develop tourism in a comprehensive and sustainable manner with a view to expanding its contribution to socio-economic development and poverty reduction
(a) Foster and support micro, small and medium-sized tourism-related enterprises;
(b) Organize collaborative actions by the Government, the private sector and stakeholders to develop entrepreneurial and employment opportunities for the poor;
(c) Encourage the use of local resources and services in tourism-related operations;
(d) Promote local arts and crafts as well as local entertainment to increase the income levels of host communities and enhance the preservation of local culture;
(f) Ensure the involvement of all stakeholders in the planning, development, management and promotion of tourism;
(g) Monitor and assess the impact of tourism initiatives on the poor;
(h) Improve the quality, capacity and skills of poor people through training and upgrading the skills related to tourism services;
(i) Strengthen backward linkages to poor communities by developing the capacity of local business organizations and community associations to participate in local tourism development and operations;
(j) Encourage private entities in remote areas to develop tourism infrastructure, not only for their own benefit but also for the benefit of local communities;
(k) Facilitate tourism-related micro and small-scale enterprises with easier access to capital, including through microfinancing and marketing schemes.