Laos is shifting its emphasis on developing and promoting sustainable and green tourism to lure more visitors from 2021 to 2025, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Prof. Dr Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune told the Fifth Party Congress on 10 December.
The minister reported that ecotourism and agro-tourism lead the list of development and promotional objectives, while tapping into the potential of the country’s natural, historical and cultural attractions to alleviate poverty in rural communities.
He noted the need to improve infrastructure and facilities, and develop new and innovative sustainable tourism products to attract visitors. The minister stressed the need for safety and avoiding negative impacts on the communities and the environment.
He added that organic farms in Laos have the potential to supply local hotels and restaurants, while noting the need for better services.
From January to September 2020, international arrivals reached only 18% of the original target, a 74% plummet compared to the same period last year, due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Other challenges facing the tourism sector include poor road access to tourist sites and limited air connections with the country’s main tourism markets.
In spite of the lockdown and dodgy infrastructure, the government and private sector has teamed to launch the Lao Thiao Lao campaign to spur domestic travel and support local communities. Promotional efforts are also reaching into neighbouring Mekong Region countries as well as all of ASEAN.
Laos currently lists 1,318 nature-based sites, 596 cultural attractions, and 294 of historical significance.
Source: Vientiane Times