Champasak District is aiming to achieve ASEAN Clean Tourist City certification by 2020.
The UNESCO World Heritage Listed Old Town of Luang Prabang became the first site in Laos to be awarded the standard earlier this year.
According to the Vientiane Times, Champasak’s goal was revealed at a workshop on Dissemination of Information on the Asean Clean Tourist City standard held in Champasak province from September 27-28.
The workshop was organised by the Tourism Development Department under the Information, Culture and Tourism Ministry and supported by Regional Economic Integration of Laos into Asean, Trade and Entrepreneurship Development (RELATED, GIZ).
It was attended by 60 representatives from the tourism sector of state and international organisations and tour operators.
“The dissemination workshop is to help prepare for the conditions to meet the Asean tourism standard,” Tourism Development Department deputy director general Mrs Phonmaly Inthaphome told the gathering.
“This is also to improve our tourism facilitation and services to meet the global standard and be able to proceed along with other countries.”
The participants, including authorities from Champasak, learned about conditions, indicators and processes for the clean tourist city standard.
They will work on these issues and frame an action plan to prepare for achieving the standard by 2020, she said.
“Earlier this year, the award of the first clean tourist city standard to Luang Prabang is significant for endorsing the quality of our tourism in the eyes of domestic and international tourists.”
The Project Director for RELATED under Lao-German Development Cooperation (GIZ), Dr Hartmut Janus, said Luang Prabang was the first Lao municipality to fulfil the requirements of the Asean Clean Tourist City standard, announced during the Asean Tourism Forum held at Chiang Mai in Thailand in January.
“The Luang Prabang – Handle with Care Project, co-financed by the EU in the context of the EU SWITCH Asia II programme, and implemented by GIZ, substantially contributed to this great success.
“We are delighted that two stakeholders from Luang Prabang have joined us during this workshop to share with us their experiences on an increased provision and consumption of sustainable tourism products to preserve Luang Prabang as (it is) a fragile destination,” Dr Janus said.
The task of achieving a second Asean Clean Tourist City in Champasak is challenging, he noted.
The standard contains seven main indicators, 28 sub-indicators and more than 100 standards. It can only be achieved if all stakeholders across Laos and in Champassak province work closely together, he said.
Cooperation between public and private sectors, and between different departments within the public sector, is a crucial factor to attain the Asean Clean Tourist City standard.
It is important to involve all relevant sectors and stakeholders from the beginning, to raise their awareness, to create ownership and to elaborate upon an action plan for overall progress, he said.
Source: Vientiane Times