A New Standard for Sustainable Tourism
In an era where travel and tourism are rapidly evolving, sustainability is no longer an option – it’s a necessity. The Lasting Laos certification, with its comprehensive and customized standards, is setting a new standard for sustainable tourism in Laos. The Lasting Laos certification is administered locally by the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The certification has been developed by the SUSTOUR Laos project which is funded by the European Union.
The Standard at Its Core
The Lasting Laos Certification utilizes the principles and methodology of Travelife, specially adapted for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) across four key tourism sectors in Laos: transportation, food & beverage, handicraft & souvenir, and cultural excursions.
The certification prioritizes waste management as a cross-cutting issue, recognizing its crucial role in achieving sustainable operations in all sectors.
1. Transportation Services
The Lasting Laos certification standards emphasize sustainability at the heart of transportation services. The focus is on three key areas: vehicle efficiency, emissions reduction, and eco-friendly driving. Providers are encouraged to use vehicles that consume less fuel and produce fewer greenhouse gases. Regular maintenance checks can also ensure the vehicles are running optimally, thus reducing their environmental footprint.
The training of staff in eco-friendly driving techniques is equally crucial. Eco-friendly driving involves strategies such as smooth acceleration and deceleration, maintaining steady speeds, and turning off the engine during idle times. Such practices can significantly reduce fuel consumption and decrease CO2 emissions. The certification standards support and encourage transport services to invest in such training for their drivers, thereby creating a more eco-conscious workforce.
2. Food & Beverage Providers
Food & beverage providers have a unique role to play in sustainable tourism. The Lasting Laos certification prioritizes local sourcing, thereby supporting local farmers and reducing the carbon footprint associated with food transportation. Moreover, providers are urged to adopt practices to reduce food waste. This includes better inventory management, reducing food waste, and offering portion choices to customers.
Promoting healthier options is another key aspect of the certification. Providers are encouraged to offer dishes that are not only nutritious but also represent the local culinary culture, thereby enhancing the gastronomic experience of visitors while also promoting local traditions.
3. Handicraft & Souvenir Businesses
For businesses in the handicraft & souvenir sector, sustainability means using materials that are environmentally friendly and locally sourced. It also means promoting the traditional craftsmanship of Laos which helps to preserve cultural heritage and provides economic opportunities for local artisans.
Fair trade practices, equitable pricing and wages, and eco-friendly packaging are other key aspects of the Lasting Laos standards.
4. Cultural Excursions
Cultural excursions are essential in representing the cultural and historical richness of Laos to visitors. The Lasting Laos certification standards ensure these excursions are conducted responsibly. Respect for local customs and traditions is paramount, as is the provision of authentic cultural experiences. This serves to create a more enriching experience for tourists while promoting understanding and respect for the local culture.
Local community involvement is another important aspect of the standards. Including locals in the operation of these excursions fosters economic growth in the community and provides an authentic experience for visitors. Encouraging responsible behavior among tourists, such as respectful photography and responsible litter disposal, helps to preserve the cultural heritage and environment for generations to come.
The Role of SUSTOUR Laos Project and LNCCI
Lasting Laos certification isn’t a standalone initiative. It’s a culmination of concerted efforts by many organizations striving towards sustainable tourism. One such pivotal initiative is the SUSTOUR Laos Project. This project aims to promote sustainable tourism, green job creation, and the conservation of natural and cultural heritage in Laos.
A key part of the SUSTOUR Laos Project’s success has been its emphasis on collaboration, providing a platform for the government, businesses, and communities to work together towards shared sustainability goals. Through training, resources, and continued support, the project has helped many businesses align their operations with sustainable practices, thereby contributing to a greener, more responsible tourism industry.
The Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) plays a significant role in this endeavor. As the representative of the business community, LNCCI not only advocates for sustainable practices but also oversees the certification process, ensuring that businesses meet the rigorous standards set by the Lasting Laos certification. By doing so, LNCCI is actively working to embed sustainability within the tourism sector, ensuring it remains a core pillar of business operations in Laos.
The Lasting Laos certification isn’t just a checklist, nor is it an expensive badge to add to a business accomplishments. It’s a free-to-obtain commitment that any business can take up. Lasting Laos is a commitment to uphold the values that are so integral to the charm and allure of Laos – it is a commitment to our environment, our people, and our unique heritage. By embracing these standards, we’re not just transforming the way we do business, we’re shaping the future of sustainable tourism in Laos.
If you’re a business in the tourism sector in Laos, we invite you to take this pivotal step towards sustainability. Apply for the Lasting Laos certification through our Facebook page today and join us on this journey toward a more sustainable future. Your customers, your community, and our planet will thank you. Your commitment today is an investment in the future of Laos – an investment that promises to yield benefits for all. Together, we can create a lasting legacy for Laos, one that future generations will look back upon with pride and gratitude.
The time for sustainable tourism is now, and the Lasting Laos certification is your gateway. Don’t wait, visit our Facebook page and apply today!
above: Supporting local handicrafts ensures these traditions are passed to future generations
SUSTOUR Laos Project Office (LNCCI building) Kaysone Phomvihane Ave, Phonphanao Village, Saysetha District, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR P.O. Box: 4596
Text & PHOTOGRAPHS BY The SUSTOUR Laos Project