The GMS Sustainable Tourism Development Project (2009-2014) is mainly financed by a US$ 10 million grant from the Asian Development Bank with additional budgetary resources sourced from the Government of Lao PDR. The Lao National Tourism Administration is the executing agency responsible for the coordination, management and implementation of the project in the 9 target provinces of Champasak, Salavanh, Savannakhet, Vientiane Province, Houaphanh, Oudomxay, Sayabouli, Bokeo and Luang Namtha.
The main goal of the project is to contribute to the sustainable socioeconomic development of Lao PDR focusing especially on poverty reduction, sustainable development and protection of the natural and cultural heritage and protection of vulnerable groups from exploitation. To achieve this goal the project seeks to enhance the protection and conservation of natural, cultural and urban heritage assets of importance for tourism; increase tourism’s contribution to poverty reduction by expanding the traditional community-based tourism approach to include tourism-related supply and value chains interventions; improve the facilitation of tourism along the economic corridors by improving services and management of tourist attractions found there; raise public sector official’s tourism management skills at the national, provincial, district and site level; improve service and hygiene standards among staff in small to medium hospitality enterprises; and enhance local private sector participation in small and medium scale tourism enterprise investment and operation.
There are 5 parts of the project:
Part 1.A: Biodiversity Conservation and Protection through Tourism at the Siphandone Wetland
Part 1.B: Urban Environment Protection and Management - Vang Vieng Town Waste Water Centralization and Treatment
Part 2: Pro-Poor Tourism Development in Salavanh, Vientiane Province, Houaphanh, Oudomxay, Sayabouli and Bokeo
Part 3: Facilitation of Tourism on the North-South (Part 3.A) and East-West (Part 3.B) Economic Corridors
Part 4: Human Resource Development
Part 5: Institutional Strengthening and Implementation Assistance