Track 4 – Culture & Heritage: Intangible Heritage (4A) & Festivals (4B)
Track 4: Culture & Heritage
Culture & heritage tourism promotes “travelling to experience the places and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present”. The GMS has a lot to offer when it comes to cultural and heritage tourism. This track looks at how to protect the culture and heritage of the Mekong region, while developing products and experiences to allow for responsible and sustainable tourism development.
Session 4A: Intangible Heritage
One of the principal motivations to travel, for many, is to engage with new cultures and to experience the performing arts, handicrafts, rituals, and cuisines of a place. The interaction spurred by such encounters prompts dialogue, builds understanding, fosters tolerance and peace, and nurtures a sense of pride among communities. Through tourism it can also be a source of income. This session will look at how intangible heritage can be leveraged by tourism to deliver fair outcomes for host communities.
Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center (TAEC) – Founded in 2006, the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC) collects, preserves, and interprets the traditional arts and lifestyles of the country’s many and diverse ethnic groups. TAEC’s doors opened to visitors in July 2007 to exhibit the ethnic cultures of Laos and promote handicrafts in the museum shop. TAEC is the only independent resource centre in Laos dedicated to Laos’ ethnic groups. Dive into the session topic in TAEC’s balcony cafe.
Session 4B: Festivals
The Mekong Region has a wealth of local festivals, some of which are actively promoted to visitors, inviting them to experience local culture through participation. Many festivals, however, remain disconnected to tourism. This session will consider how the tourism industry can leverage the attraction of festivals while maintaining their integrity.
Mekong Kingdoms’ ‘Play’ – Mekong Kingdoms is a new player in Mekong River cruising, offering “stylish new ways to meander along Southeast Asia’s more beguiling river”; new routes, bespoke itineraries, and curated experiences. MK’s 42-metre vessel, Play, is a sophisticated floating lounge crewed by a highly-trained staff. The vessel will launch in April 2017 with a suspended lounge with sun beds, air-conditioned private room, and a well-stocked bar. Enjoy Play while at work on the Forum topic.