Laos seeks ways to bolster tourism industry
VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The public and private sectors will team up to tackle issues plaguing the tourism sector as part of the government’s efforts to bolster the contribution of the service sector to economic growth.
The Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) on Friday arranged a special meeting to brainstorm ways to promote the tourism industry.
The consultation meeting on tourism, attended by the public and private sectors, was co-chaired by the Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Savankhone Razmountry, and the LNCCI’s Vice Executive President Mr Daovone Phachanthavong.
The meeting was an open platform for both the public and private sectors to discuss tourism-related issues as well as to seek effective solutions to boost tourism-related businesses.
In his opening remarks Mr Daovone Phachanthavong said the gathering was exclusive as the public and private sectors would discuss issues being faced by the tourism sector.
“We often hear recent reports from the public sector that the number of foreign tourists is increasing, but private businesses engaged in tourism are seeing a drop in foreign travellers in several major tourism provinces,” he said.
Mr Daovone said the meeting would address these obstacles and brainstorm new ways to attract tourists and boost incomes in the service sector, especially for the tourism industry.
Representatives of service sector firms such as travel agents, hotels and restaurants took part in the meeting.
Mr Savankhone said both sides were responsible for translating the government’s policy on tourism promotion into a magnetic device to attract more foreign tourists.
“Significantly, the LNCCI plays a key role in contributing to national economic development. The service sector was boosted by the chamber until it became one of the outstanding drivers of the country’s economic growth,” he said.
The deputy minister said the number of world travellers will increase in the next decade as the Asean region is part of this growth and, accordingly, Laos’ tourism development roadmap will be back on track for responsible, sustainable and inclusive growth.
“Promoting and resolving tourism issues will require special and active collaboration between all parties concerned. The public sector is willing to support the private sector in tackling issues when needed,” Mr Savankhone said.
During the meeting, several interesting presentations were made in relation to the smart packaging and promotion of tourism, and local businesspeople shared their experiences concerning current tourism trends in Laos.
They also informed the public sector that the government could help in the removal of obstacles within this strategic sector.
The number of tourist arrivals in the first half of 2019 exceeded 2.2 million, an increase of 5 percent compared to the same period last year, according to statistics published by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.