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New bbook urges visitors to stay longer in Laos

Stay longer, book urges visitors

The International Finance Corporation's Mekong Private Sector Development Facility (IFC-MPDF) launched the second edition of the travel guide-book ‘ Stay Another Day Laos ' last week in Vientiane .

The 80-page booklet features tourism products and services from 40 non-­governmental organisations and socially-conscious businesses that support tourist attractions in a variety of ways, usually through the preservation of culture and environmental assets and in assisting local communities.

Speaking at the launch, the IFC-MDPF's Head of Office Charles Schneider said “The booklet is bigger and better than last year's edition. We printed 35,000 copies for this year.”

“We're trying to measure the impact of this booklet to see if it is helping tourism in Laos . “I'm sure that you see tourists walking around towns with the book in their hands.”

The booklet aims to encourage tourists to stay in the country longer and spend money in more sustainable ways.

The number of partners supporting the book increased by 5 percent from last year, said Mr Schneider.

The book provides information on ecotourism, restaurants and cooking classes, traditional massage, development projects, rehabilitation centres, artisans, performances by master musicians, sports, and many other activities.

“We try to measure how others are benefiting from this book. We found that visitors to our partners increased by between 30 to 50 percent since the book was first published last year,” Mr Schneider said.

The book helps achieve the main objectives of sustainable tourism, promoting business, reducing poverty and increasing community livelihoods, he said

It can help stimulate the development of all kinds of enterprises such as organic growers, craft producers and sellers, and performers, which begin by supplying the tourist industry but grow to serve other markets, he said.

It helps the tourism sector contribute more widely to the country's economic development, Mr Schneider said.

Copies of the booklet will be distributed through hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and tour operators and libraries.

Source: vientianetimes

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