Announcing: Southiseng, Nittana and John Walsh, “Study of Tourism and Labour in Luang Prabang Province,” Journal of Lao Studies, Vol.2, No.1 (January, 2011), pp.45-65, available at: http://laojournal.org/index.php/promote/article/view/16/16.
Luang Prabang is becoming a well-known destination for international tourists. It was officially proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Property in 1995. Significant increases in tourist arrivals to Luang Prabang have provided opportunities to the residents of Luang Prabang to earn income and increase their knowledge and levels of experience. However, substantial gains were not sustainable due to the lack of qualified labour to supply the booming sector. This article explores the labour market of the tourism industry in Luang Prabang. It is based on 39 in-depth interviews with local people aimed at exploring problems and ways to improve the tourism and labour development in the city. The results suggest the necessity of increases in employment, either through entrepreneurial provision of accommodations, restaurants or tour operator services, or else within indirect tourism-related business. There is a need to upgrade the skills and experience of the labour market to remain competitive and a need to better balance the supply and demand of labour. There is a deficiency in terms of tourism-labour development planning, levels of individual motivation, available budget resources, and the numbers of of qualified people in tourism management in both the private and public sectors. The research findings were used to identify recommendations to strengthen the sustainable development of the labour market and tourism industry in Luang Prabang Province.