MTF Insights: Derek Smith @ Saffron Coffee
Derek operates Saffron, a sustainable coffee producer and local café. He has never attended an MTF, and first heard of about the Luang Prabang event at the Lanith Hospitality Managers’ Rendezvous, which is where he first learned about the MTCO.
What challenges does Luang Prabang face in hosting a multi-venue event?
I really don’t know much about the MTF. If it’s a big event, perhaps Luang Prabang’s roads might not cope with extra traffic? Do we have the hotel quality and size to accommodate?
MTF replies: Luang Prabang has great hotels, and in fact we have an extensive list of official hotels that have extended special rates. Transportation to the morning venue is provided from these official hotels (http://www.mekongtourismforum.org/index.php/location/accommodation/). There are lots of other accommodation options available in Luang Prabang, and it being Low (Green) Season, it is easy to find accommodation and good prices. Roads are fine, as the destination is coping with a lot more tourists during high season. Our event is fairly small, and caps at 300 people due to the capacity limitations of the session venues, which we cannot exceed by law.
What opportunities do you see for your business and Luang Prabang in hosting the MTF?
Saffron Coffee is interested to promote Luang Prabang in general. We have a unique product that adds a nice variation to the other regular tour and cafe offerings of the town.
What do you think Luang Prabang should do to better host large events?
Perhaps Luang Prabang needs a venue to host large crowds and groups?
We Are Lao asked several Luang Prabang businesses and organizations about the opportunities & challenges they face in hosting the multi-venue MTF, with MTCO Executive Director Jens Thraenhart, responding.