Village-based Tourism Development in Ban Kandone and Ban Tahine
Project title: VILLAGE-BASED TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN BAN KANDONE AND BAN TAHINE
Country: LAO PDR
Current status: Ongoing Concluded
Duration (est.)/dates: October 2007 – December 2008
Partner entities: Lao National Tourism Administration, Provincial Tourism Offices of Sekong and Attapeu
Source(s) of Funding: ST-EP Foundation
Executing Agency: Lao National Tourism Administration
Main project objective: to create additional employment and income earning opportunities, and to enhance the potential for tourist overnight home-stays (in Ban Kandone) and to revive a dying art-form of pottery making (in Ban Tahine).
The project focused on two Southern Lao PDR villages in need of assistance to capitalize on their traditional skills and cultural heritage by supporting cultural practices and activities that have been part of each village for many generations.
1. Ban Kandone: In Ban Kandone, 4 skills training seminars were conducted for women villagers on weaving production (the village is known for its high quality textiles woven by village women), and one training seminar was organized for all villagers focused on tourism related operations. In addition, the project carried out the construction of a traditional home-stay facility and helped prepare villagers to accommodate visitors. The upgrading of the 3-km access road to the village was implemented, as well as the construction of a show room and road signs. With the support of the Provincial Government of Sekong, the project installed electricity connection for 102 households in the village. The project also helped establish a village fund and devised a profit-sharing system from handicraft sales and contributions from group tours.
2. Ban Tahine: In Ban Tahine, a new kiln was built to facilitate all-year-round pottery production. Other infrastructural improvements completed by the project included: basic toilet facilities for visitors and a small common showroom for the display of handicrafts for sale to visitors. In addition, the project carried out training programmes on all aspects of pottery production (techniques, design, maintenance and repair of kilns) and business practices in handicraft presentation and sales.
Main project outputs/deliverables:
In Ban Kandone 200 textiles were reported sold in 2008, generating 20 million kip for local weavers. Visitation to Ban Kandone increased by 100 international day-visitors in 2008 and the village has recently established a relationship with a trader in Champasak that ordered 300 meters of hand-woven Katou cloth. This order generated 30 million kip for 50 women or 600,000 kip each in early 2009. Discussions with village producers suggested that visitation and textile sales are correlated, with each visitor typically purchasing 1 or 2 pieces.
At the close of the project, there were 10 people employed full-time selling food and drinks to tourists in Ban Tahine and 23 pottery producers working part-time. Food and drink sellers grossed approximately 70 million kip in 2008 or 7 million kip per-vendor. Visitation to Ban Tahine in 2008 was 700 international and 3,600 domestic day-visitors.
Despite the project’s low budget and ambitious objectives nearly all of the outputs planned were completed as proposed. Key improvements were the new access road to Ban Kandone and the electricity supply and the construction of a pottery showroom and purchase of 3 new pottery wheels in Ban Tahine. Training and awareness raising activities were also rated useful by local participants. Further attention is needed to address the lack of financial and technical resources to conduct follow-up training and to increase visitor number with a view to assisting trainees to apply new skills and knowledge and to establish benefit sharing mechanisms at the village level.