The Luang Prabang View Hotel landed the ASEAN MICE Award at the 21st ATF on 26 January in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The honour is presented to venues that comply with stringent ASEAN MICE standards.
“It’s a great award to be given,” said Mr Sengmany Chaila, Luang Prabang View Executive Assistant Manager, who accepted the prize. He noted the hotel is the only one in Luang Prabang to achieve this status.
In 2016, when Laos held the ASEAN chair, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs selected Luang Prabang View as their main hotel for facilitating ASEAN Summit meetings being held in the UNESCO city.
“They understood that we meet international standards and our staff is very attentive,” said Mr Chaila, who added, “Our flexible team has given us an edge on our competitors, and our ‘we care and can do” attitude has moved us forward.”
The hotel’s General Manager John Morris Williams pointed to Mr Chaila as the key person behind the hotel’s drive to capture the MICE market over the past four years.
“His experience and determination in bringing MICE to Luang Prabang has greatly contributed to the economy of the city and country. He brings groups from various sectors and countries right to our doorstep,” Mr Williams said.
“People have confidence in our ability, and we are proud of our staff and managers in enforcing international and ASEAN standards,” he said.
Mr Williams stressed that the Luang Prabang View will not rest on the laurels awarded by ASEAN. “We are now improving our facilities, re-training our staff to pay even closer attention to details, and being flexible with the needs of our customers and partners.”
He pointed out that the hotel is flexible in its menus, and offers vegan, kosher, halal dishes to meet the needs of visitors from ASEAN countries. “This has been one of our strengths.”
With maintenance and upkeep ongoing, we are keeping our standards and image up at all times, this is vital for the future and to be one step ahead of our competitors,” he added.
Mr Williams said he is working with Mr Chaila and his team in striving to explore new markets and working with local DMCs and overseas agents, who have not strongly pursued the MICE and incentive travel to Luang Prabang.
“Our next steps will be to improve our communications and support for our overseas partners in MICE and incentive travel, along with working with local government agencies,” he said.
“We will need help from the government to open new doors such as direct flights from Hong Kong. This would open a bigger avenue, and bring added revenue for the hotel and the local economy in a very big way.”
Hong Kong Express has gone through the process for opening flights to Luang Prabang, but has yet to receive the go ahead from the Lao government.
“Hong Kong could and should be one of the main targets for Luang Prabang, due to our central location in the region.” He said flights from Japan, Korean, Philippines, Taiwan, and China would greatly benefit tourism and the local economy.
Luang Prabang View Hotel offers three meeting rooms capable of holding up to 120 to 200 participants, along with breakout rooms. The property is centrally located in the city, and sits on a hill to present an unrivalled panorama of the UNESCO site.