Proudly contributed by Janina Bikova
This brief outlines the ecotourism model implemented at the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area (NEPL NPA) in Houaphan Province, Lao PDR (Laos). The ecotourism products at NEPL NPA have been designed to create a direct link between conservation and tourism so that the money that tourists pay has a positive impact on encouraging local people to protect endangered wildlife. is is achieved through both direct employment of local people in service provider groups, and through incentives that provides benefits to a larger number of villages linked to wildlife conservation.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been supporting the NEPL Management Unit since 2003, and has assisted with the development of ecotourism products commencing in 2009. During this time significant experience has been gained on how to implement ecotourism in the Laos NPA context, and how to ensure effective operations and meaningful community engagement. Currently 26 villages (more than 2000 households) are participating in ecotourism with 4 villages being directly engaged to provide services for tours.
This type of traveller wish to maintain Muslim principles (i.e. prayer, food, cultural norms) while travelling. Halal Travel is one of the fastest growing travel sectors in the world and it is expected that Halal tourism will grow by 50% in volume and by 35% in value in the next five years. Muslim population growth currently outpaces general population growth and eventually this type of traveller is expected to represent 11% of the market.
Economically, they have the highest consumer purchasing power of all MENA tourists, with a desire and ability to experience and explore the world. They are also are family-orientated typically travelling in large family groups. International governments are actively attracting Halal travellers, with a Schengen and UK visa waiver for UAE nationals.
However, not all Halal travellers have the same needs, expectations or priorities when travelling. Within the market there are big differences and it is crucial that these unique needs are understood. Three key themes have been identified: maximizing trip value, relevant accommodation and family-friendly destinations – with woman being key influencers. Halal seekers plan their trips to maximize experiences, however at their destination they want to explore in their comfort zone.
Strategy for Promoting Safe and Environment-Friendly Agro-Based Value Chains in the Greater Mekong Subregion and Siem Reap Action Plan, 2018–2022
The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) has a great opportunity to be a major supplier of safe and environment-friendly agriculture products (SEAP). The GMS economies are growing rapidly, and their population of over 330 million is becoming larger, richer, and more urbanized. Increasingly, GMS consumers look for food characteristics such as safety, healthiness, and environment-friendliness. GMS farmers generate huge surplus of agrifood products, and agribusiness companies are more sophisticated and better able to develop regional and global reach. Agricultural and food trade is growing rapidly. Trade integration is accelerating thanks to policy initiatives and development of transportation corridors and logistics systems. The improved infrastructure and the opportunity to move further along the value-added path are great incentives for the increasing ow of foreign direct investment (FDI).
This study was commissioned to better understand the needs of travellers with accessibility needs, and to identify a framework for action for the travel industry.
It is clear that delivering a more accessible travel experience, which responds to the needs of all travellers, is both a social imperative as well as an opportunity for the travel industry.
Delivering on travellers’ accessibility needs is an increasing demand. World demographic indicators show a growing, ageing population that will represent over 21.5 per cent of people by 2050. This is why, for the purposes of this study, accessibility refers to the needs of people with disabilities and seniors.
This study provides a comprehensive framework for how the travel industry can think more strategically about accessibility. In 2015, the Ambrose study identified three main pillars of accessible tourism where action needed to be focused: information (relating to both access to information, and information on accessibility), customer service (relating to those working in the travel and tourism sector to better serve the travellers’ needs) and facilities (relating to the physical environment). Ambrose provided a valuable reference for thinking about accessible tourism.