Sustainable Tourism Paradigm in Lao PDR (1986-2004 A.D.)*
Boonyasarit Aneksuk

Ph.D. Candidate

Tai Studies Program

Mahasarakham University and lecturer in Tourism Program

Ubon Rajathanee University



In 1986 Social and Economic Reform in Lao PDR has created a great change in various aspects. Tourism, which has been accepted recently in Lao PDR, also plays an important role in economic development of Lao PDR. As a result, Tourism is considered as a change of Lao PDR's development paradigm.

The article aims to present sustainable tourism paradigm, which is an aspect of development paradigm of Lao PDR since the development of tourism management from 1986 to present. In addition, the sustainable tourism paradigm is influenced by different levels tourism concepts; for example, Theory and Universal and Regional levels. UNESCO Nam Ha Ecotourism Project, Luang Nam Tha Province, a United Nations development project, is employed as a case study of the sustainable tourism paradigm.

The results of the study indicated firstly, the sustainable tourism paradigm in Lao PRD occurring in 1980s has emphasized high value of Tourism which consists of culture and tradition protected value; biodiversity value for providing accommodations for the minority of Lao PDR; ecotourism network among stakeholders such as government, entrepreneurs and local communities in participation of activity development; and management Tourism as a tool of rural development integration for ecotourism practitioners. Secondly, the tourism management is supported by international private development organization such as World Conservation Union (IUCN) as well as United Nations, for instance, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), thus affecting the compatibility of sustainable tourism paradigm in Lao PDR with tourism concept at Theory level. The results reflected the development paradigm as ideology, which needs to be followed up.


* This article is an extract of Boonyasarit Aneksuk Ph.D. dissertation, topic Sustainable Tourism Paradigm in Thailand, Lao PDR and Vietnam. Thank you for suggestion from my major advisor, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Seri Pongpit.