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Mekong countries to seek sustainable tourism by training Cultural Heritage Specialist Guides

Mekong officials will meet for the first time for training specialist guides and developing relevant policies for cultural heritage

By News Desk

Luang Prabang, Laos, October 12, 2017

Eleven Myanmar

The ASEAN-Korea Centre (Secretary General Kim Young-sun) will organize the ‘Mekong Sub-regional Capacity Building Workshop on Cultural Heritage’ from 15 to 20 October in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. The Workshop will gather government officials in charge of training the cultural heritage specialist guides and developing relevant policies, as well as tourism industry players from Mekong sub-region countries*. Aiming to facilitate training of the participants to provide the platform for national level training of cultural heritage specialist guides in the future, the Workshop is expected to contribute to developing sustainable tourism. The Workshop is held in cooperation with Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICT) of Lao PDR, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT), and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Bangkok Office.

*Mekong sub-region countries: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand

The Workshop is unprecedented in the sense that theoretical lectures and practical field exerciseshave been planned in unison, and that interaction between lecturers and participants will be done through group activities, discussions, and case studies. Professor Sharif Shams Imon from IFT and Dr. Ong Chin Ee from National University of Singapore (NUS), who are among the developers of UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage Specialist Guides Training module, and Mr. Steven Schipani from ADB, a specialist for tourism in Mekong Sub-region, will give informative sessions on key issues in cultural heritage tourism using the UNESCO core module. The participants will also be given presentations on training programs of each country, as well as actively taking part in discussions andcross-country exercises.Following the lectures, the lecturers and participants will visit cultural heritage sites in Luang Prabang, where they can visualize and implement the contents they learned from the lectures regarding preserving, managing, promoting and interpreting cultural heritage sites.

Secretary General Kim Young-sun of ASEAN-Korea Centre commented, “The year 2017 has been designated as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the United Nations. As World Cultural Heritage is a key component of sustainable tourism, efforts of the government and government-related organizations in preserving and managing the cultural heritages are imperative. The Mekong Sub-region is important as more than half of ASEAN’s World Cultural Heritages dispersed in the region.I hope this Workshop can strengthen the competency of training programs for cultural heritage specialist guides in the Mekong Sub-region, therebycontributing to developing sustainable tourism for the Mekong Sub-region countries.”

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