Tourism, Poverty and Sustainability

This little video is from when I arrived in Vientiane, and I figured it
would be good to post today when I’m leaving Laos lol
All is a time mess on this blog anyway….
Last night I sat down an talked with Nat from Australia who opened
a bar/restaurant here in Vang Vieng. We chatted about tourism and development of Laos.
She told me that next year has been declared as a “Visit Laos year”
by the Lao government, and that they have proposed to expand
an develop tourism in the country.
Looking at the potential this is probably huge, and if one had time
and money to invest this is is probably a great place to do so!
However does the world really need another Costa Del Sol,
another French Riviera, or Barbados….
Hopefully they won’t go there… that route… but do something more
Laos would certainly need some cleaning up….
The exhaust fumes in Vientiane are massive!
Just walking in the streets for a short while made me dizzy…
Tourism sure is very complex, as is world economy, and of course
I cannot solve the issue, and for sure I feel very puzzled after being here!
It’s a entangled, complex and multi-layered mess of exhaust fumes,
Buddhism, communism and capitalism…
Oh and lol on the radio in the bus…Music from way back when….
that too adds to this mess…
When I was in Vanuatu it was a more straight forward feeling,
that these people (Ni-Van) need help to protect their culture and
especially help with protecting them from foreigners buying up their land
and making huge profits out of it, all while giving crumbles in return at best!
Mostly tourism there creates poverty, and a income classification,
previously totally unknown on the islands. Most of Vanuatu people now
find themselves in a new dependency once money was introduced,
a dependency due to selling the land to foreigners.
A new kind of poverty not seen there before
Here in Laos there are of course other issues, and for now the
tourism is basically backpackers who come here for the extremely
cheap booze. Vientiane had a fair share of others as well,
mostly Europeans, at least at a quick glance these days in
November of 2011.