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Chompet Pilot Project - "Our Heritage Our Future: Integrated Community-led Heritage and Tourism Management as a Tool for Sustainable Development"

View from Luang Prabang on Chompet district and the Mekong river.


In 1995, the town of Luang Prabang was inscribed on the World Heritage List, drawing international attention and sparking a tourism boom. Residents have very quickly taken advantage of the economic benefits of tourism and many are finding employment in the hospitality industry. However, traditional skills and long established ways of life are fading, resulting in the loss of the unique cultural values and practices.

This UNESCO pilot project aims to empower communities to respond to this situation through involving all stakeholders in determining the value of their heritage and adopting measures that will allow the community to benefit from tourism while at the same time to deal with the pressures of tourism and the ongoing process of social change within the community.

Listing of heritage assets during a public meeting.

The objectives of this project are:

  • to protect and promote cultural diversity, one of the roots of sustainable human development, through ensuring inclusion and participation of communities in identification and management of their heritage;
  • to empower communities to manage their heritage resources in an appropriate and sustainable way, through awareness raising and socio-economic valorization of heritage; and
  • to alleviate poverty through increased employment opportunities and income generation based on sustainable exploitation of heritage resources for community based cultural tourism and ecotourism.

The project document provides an example of a very detailed workplan enhancing the linkages between a community-based cultural mapping activity and the development of an efficient tourism management plan.

Download the project document