Accepted Paper:

Emerging concepts and practices of tourist hospitality among the locals of Viengxay, Lao PDR  

Authors:

Thomas Bauer (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Haiyan Song (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Wantanee Suntikul (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)

Paper Short Abstract:

The paper is based on site observations and focus group interviews conducted with local people in thirteen villages in Viengxay.

Paper long abstract:

The inhabitants of the remote and poor region of Viengxay in Laos have not traditionally been accustomed to receiving tourists to their villages. Only recently has a small trickle of adventurous tourists begun to appear, but tourism is expected to increase in future years due to international organisations' development projects in the area. The proposed paper will discuss the emerging practices of hospitality towards these tourists by the local people. These practices are influenced by many factors, including local traditions and etiquette, the area's long history of geographical and political isolation and war, and individual and societal perceptions and aspirations regarding tourism and tourists. Though there is a tendency to perceive and treat tourists as guests in the village, locals are beginning to realise that tourists are a special kind of guest that may require a different type of hospitality. Attitudes and behaviour towards tourists are also changing due to increasing contact with foreigners and the outside world and evolving expectations regarding the tourism industry. The paper will examine how these various factors interact and conflict in the formation of hospitality practices. The paper is based on site observations and focus group interviews conducted with local people in thirteen villages in Viengxay.

Panel A2
Hospitality, culture and society