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wbtuffin
Traveler
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 6:12 am
Location: Luang Namtha, Laos
Contact:

Greetings from Laos!

Post by wbtuffin »

Dear Friends,
I am joining the forum a bit late. My colleagues in Laos are working too hard to be able to participate. Paul Rogers from SNV was generous to request that I be allowed to participate in the forum. I am very grateful for that. However, I am not sure to what degree that I will be able to participate. This is the beginning of our high season. We are practioners so this means that this is the season when we need to out in the field. Add to this our limited access to the internet. Well, I guess I just not sure how much we be able to participate.
But I would like to take this opporunity not only to introdice myself but also to tell you of some of the very innovative and exciting things that are happening in Laos.
First of all, my name is Bill Tuffin. Together with a local family we operate the Boat Landing Guest House (http://www.theboatlanding.com). You can also read in detail about what we are doing from an interview that I wrote earlier this year for Ecoclub (http://www.ecoclub.com/news/068/interview.html). This year we have entered into a partnership with a Lao tour operator, Green Discovery; the owner of Green Discovery, Inthy, wants to move his business more in the direction of ecotourism and community-based tourism (http://www.greendiscoverylaos.com) making it the ideal company for us to partner with. This will provide us with a tremendous opportunity to show that the private sector has a major role to play and that it can be done in a responsible sensitive way.
Tourism in Laos is developing in a unique way. The country does not have the infrastructure of its neighbors nor very many large cultural sites to draw tourists. Added to this, Laos is just now emerging on the tourism scene after years of war and isloation.
What Laos does offer is an unspoiled rural lifestyle, mountains, a larged protected area system, forests and ethnic diversity. In this context of little developed tourism with the added boost of emerging market trends in ecotourism and with the recognition of donors that tourism has a role to play in rural development, some very interesting and innovative initiatives in the development of ecotourism are emerging. In Laos the private sector, the donnors, and the government have been working on the development of ecotourism from the outset. With the tourism in Laos still in its infancy, this presents an opportunity to develop tourism from the bottom up in way away that learns from the lessons of others. We hope that it means that Laos will avoid many of the negative impacts that have affected other countries.
The Lao National Tourism Administration in collaboration with the ADB and the provate has developed a website to show case some of these initiatives: http://www.ecotourismlaos.com.
I regret that we here in Laos may not be able to participate in this forum to the fullest extent that we would like to. But know that we are surely working hard on many of the same issues that the rest of you are and perhaps when this high season is over we will come up for a breath of air. I will try to pop in as much as possible before this conference has finished.

planeta
Site Admin
Posts: 6843
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 8:03 am
Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
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Many thanks!

Post by planeta »

Just a quick note to thank everyone for their participation in this forum. The dialogue in this forum has been quite rich.

Tomorrow the forum closes, so if you have final comments or recommendations for donors, please share your thoughts now.

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