What can be done to encourage sustainable tourism development? 
World Tourism Day, celebrated every 27 September, is a unique opportunity to raise awareness about tourism’s actual and potential contribution to sustainable development. With more folk yearning for new experiences and activities, tourism is one of the fastest growing and most important economic sectors globally. On the occasion, Vientiane Times asked some members of the public for their thoughts for promoting sustainable tourism development.

Ms Luttanaphone Duangboubpha, a resident at Sisattanak district: If the governments of each country what to promote links and develop tourism I think they should cut procedures and make improvements to getting tourist visas because many travellers want to travel to other destinations but they don’t know the official system for getting a visa and there are many difficult steps. Getting a tourist visa is also often quite expensive. My cousins wanted to visit Europe but they had go through many steps to get a visa which wasted a lot of their time and money and finally they couldn’t get the visa because they did not pass an interview. I don’t understand why some governments have so many steps if they want people to visit from overseas.

Mr Outhoumphone Phommachanh, a volunteer at a government office:  I think the government of each country should join with enterprises to promote travel to others nations with discount air tickets for one week coinciding with World Tourism Day in order to attract more visitors and boost tourism. It would also be a good way of building relationships between countries around the world. When travellers go to different places they will know more about the food, livelihoods and culture of each country.
Ms Viphavanh Alounsack, a resident of Xaysettha district: During Visit Laos Year 2018, I would like to share my ideas about tourism in Laos. Presently, the government has a big tourism campaign with advertisements on display all around the country. To help the promotion I would like to ask everybody to keep our country clean and beautiful. I also urge the government to regulate the price of food for travellers because I’ve heard many visitors complain about high food prices here which is still a big issue for tourists to our country.

Mr Hongsa Phiewvanna, an official in Xayaboury province: I want the leaders of all countries on the planet to join hands to establish central tourism links and then invite delegations from each country to be participants so they can share their special tourist sites. This would advertise the world’s exotic tourist sites together.
Mr Sao Naovabood, a resident at Hadxayfong district: I think all countries should enhance and develop tourism in rivers and the oceans. For instance, I would like to ensure the security of boats used for many activities on rivers or at sea particularly for long journeys.  Besides putting travellers’ safety first we should promote trips on the largest rivers such as the Mekong to boost tourism.

By Phouthong Sivongsa
(Latest Update September 26, 2018)

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