31 May MTF Isights Susie Rachael

MTF Insights: Susie Martin & Rachel O’Shea @ Laos Buffalo Dairy

Susie is the CEO and Rachel is the Chef of the Laos Buffalo Dairy, a sustainable venture with a unique business plan. This will be their first MTF, having heard about event in March from John Williams of Luang Prabang View, who directed them to the MIST application process. Susie and Rachel first learned of the MTCO through the monthly Lanith Hospitality Managers’ Rendezvous.

Wat opportunities do you see for your business, and Luang Prabang, in hosting the MTF?

Beyond the obviously beneficial platform the MTF provides for tourism professionals to visit various venues and tourist attractions in Luang Prabang, the theme of this year’s MTF, “Prosper with Purpose” (with) sustainable tourism, is extremely relevant for a UNESCO site such as Luang Prabang, where the local community involvement and cultural heritage of the town are the main draw-cards for tourism.

Laos Buffalo Dairy, located on the road to Kuang Si Waterfalls, aims to “prosper” by providing quality cheeses made from buffalo milk to the various hotels and restaurants in Luang Prabang and Laos. Our “purpose” is a unique business model where the farmers own the buffalo and rent them to the dairy, (thus) earning a new income stream and getting healthier buffalo in the process.

With the MTF focusing on sustainable tourism and hopefully driving tourist revenue, this will help encourage more people to see the benefits of sustainable business models that incorporate the local community.

What challenges do you see for Luang Prabang in hosting a large event such as the MTF?

Some challenges likely to be faced in hosting the MTF will be a lack of co-ordinated transport and information infrastructure. Larger groups may face challenges in moving between venues due to traffic congestion and limited parking. Few convenient information centres and minimal information available online are areas that could be improved for future events.

MTF replies: I think during low season, the traffic problem should not be too big of an issue, but for Luang Prabang to compete going forward in tourism, there should be solutions to an ever-growing traffic problem. But, thank God that it is not, and never will be, as bad as Bangkok when it comes to congestion.


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