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A Case Study: Enhancing Laos' Tourism Sector Performance Through Destination Human Resource Development
Published 2012 · Business
Tourism in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos) is a relatively new phenomenon that commenced in earnest in the late 1990s. A decade later, the country's tourism portfolio is dominated by regional visitors originating from neighbouring China, Thailand and Vietnam who generally tend to come in large numbers, are relatively low spenders and register short average length of stays. In order to reap the fiscal benefits of tourism and sustain the nation's fragile cultural and ecological makeup, the Government of Laos is being challenged to establish ways to shift the balance of its tourism demand to more profitable and lower impact market segments. A human resource development strategy published by the Lao National Tourism Administration in collaboration with Luxembourg Development Cooperation suggests that a sustained investment in people will improve tourism sector service quality, which in turn will result in increased industry profitability. This paper explores the existing human resource environment in Laos' tourism sector and outlines the required actions by various stakeholders to achieve improved sector performance and stewardship of the country's fragile culture and environment.