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About the book

The first in a series of studies examining the impact of tourism on culture and the environment in selected sites in the Asia-Pacific region, this IMPACT publication: Tourism and Heritage Site Management in the World Heritage Town of Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, is written for everyone interested in ensuring that natural, built and cultural heritage are not compromised in pursuit of the benefits of tourism. This book provides concepts and techniques to guide the development of tourism in Luang Prabang in order that tourism sustainably brings benefits to the residents of the town and does not adversely impact on the unique cultural and natural treasures that are of immeasurable value to the local community and that continue to attract visitors to Luang Prabang.

The town of Luang Prabang combines a spectacular natural setting, temples and architectural heritage with traditional crafts, food and festivals. Due to Luang Prabang’s charm and outstanding heritage values, tourism has boomed in the past decade. Tourism has provided some residents with alternative sources of income and livelihoods, but while bringing these benefits, the rapid increase in visitors to Luang Prabang has also resulted in a correspondingly rapid expansion of infrastructure and has placed stress on the town’s cultural and built heritage, public utilities, and environment; often with harmful outcomes.

This publication examines the positive and negative impacts of tourism in Luang Prabang and suggests a strategy for managing tourism in this World Heritage town. This book will assist tourism planners and managers to work with local residents and other stakeholders to find a successful balance in which the needs and aspirations of the community are fulfilled, while the resources on which they and the tourism industry depend are protected. This book will also be of interest to all those teaching or studying “Sustainable Tourism".

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For further information about the book and to find out how to purchase a copy, please contact the Ofice of the UNESCO Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific, UNESCO Bangkok.

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