|Southeast Asia abounds with astounding heritage sites and diverse ICH elements. However, due to the fast-paced development of modernity, heritage sites are at risk of deterioration while intangible elements face extinction. At the same time, mass tourism has also penetrated cultural heritage sites, significantly affecting the lives of local communities. As a consequence of poverty and lack of access to quality education, many of these communities have not been able to resist the commodification of their cultural heritage. They have often then seen their heritage being subjected to exploitative tourism practices, endangering the integrity of their way of life. In strong opposition to these tendencies, we believe that the cultural heritage of local and Indigenous communities can be a comparative advantage in Southeast Asia, helping such groups to achieve inclusive and sustainable development.