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Stakeholder Involvement Laos Essay

9135 words - 37 pages

STAKEHOLDER COLLABORATIONAND HERITAGE MANAGEMENTChristina AasMerkantilt Institutt, Norway.Adele LadkinBournemouth University, UK.John FletcherBournemouth University, UK.AbstractThis article examines a collaborative approach to the relationship between heritage management and tourism development in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. The purpose of the paper is to examine stakeholder collaboration and its role in managing heritage tourism development, and the interdependence of the heritage conservation and tourism relationship. The research examines a UNESCO/Norwegian Government stakeholder project, which aims to promote collaboration between heritage conservation and tourism through stakeholder collaboration. Five aspects are explored: channels of communication between the heritage and the tourism sector, generating income for heritage conservation and management, involving the local community in decision making, involving the local community in tourism activities, and an assessment of the extent and success of stakeholder collaboration.Key WordsStakeholder Collaboration, Heritage Management, Lao, PDR.biosketchChristina Aas is Senior Lecturer in tourism at Merkantilt Institutt, (PO Box 5875, Majorstua, 0308 Oslo, Norway. <Email>). Adele Ladkin and John Fletcher are Professors of Tourism at the International Center for Tourism and Hospitality Research, Bournemouth University, UK. Each has extensive experience in a variety of tourism projects, with a current research interest in ways of implementing sustainable tourism through stakeholder collaboration.INTRODUCTIONHeritage tourism is a rapidly developing tourism market that assumes the properties of a desirable tourism product and the importance of this market segment for tourism development cannot be ignored (Prentice 1993a, 1993b). While heritage tourism provides economic opportunities for many culture rich destinations, it may also represent a threat in terms of the potential degradation of the heritage resource and sidelining of the community from its heritage and the benefits of tourism. The relationship between heritage and tourism is frequently characterized by contradictions and conflicts whereby conservationists perceive heritage tourism as compromising conservation goals for profit (Nuryanti 1996). In order to minimize these threats, there is a need for dialogue, co-operation, and collaboration among the various stakeholders involved in tourism. If a common ground between the different stakeholders can be found, then heritage tourism can be developed in such a way that preserves the heritage resources of the local community and is beneficial to all.Set against this background, the research presented here represents a critical assessment of a UNESCO/Norwegian government-sponsored pilot project at the World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang, Lao PDR that aimed to synthesize heritage conservation and tourism development through stakeholder collaboration. The project officially ended in...

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