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New Guide to Responsible Tourism in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam

August 15, 2008 – 5:58 pm

Just published a 148-page guide book showing where and how to enjoy responsible tourism activities in the three countries.  Over 25 activities in each country have been profiled in “The Guide to Responsible Tourism in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam”. Each activity creates income for local people, minimises potential negative tourism impacts, involves members of the local communities in running the business, conserves natural and cultural heritage, provides meaningful experiences for tourists, helps people with physical disabilities, and builds respect between visitors and hosts.

For example, the book makes it easier for tourists to trek responsibly with hilltribes, buy handicrafts that keep traditions alive, eat in restaurants that employ former street kids or people with disabilities, stay in accommodation that respects its local community, and discover nature in some of the most awe inspiring areas of Southeast Asia.

The colour guide book describes 82 tourism experiences from the tourist’s perspective, and how the activities help local people while respecting local culture and the environment.

Nice to see something proactive happening here (I write from Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital). I cycle to work each day, muscling between the tide of Lexus Landcruisers that wash through this city, illustrating the dramatic gulf developing between the few who have and the masses who don’t. Few people at the top appear to care about anything except personal enrichment!

Anyway, watch for an array of community-based tourism initiatives developing in Cambodia, Thailand and Laos, especially.  I will shortly be adding a section to our website showing how you can spend a few days living in a community and how your visit will help them maintain their way of life.

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