VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): A leader in Laos’ tourism industry is targeting Vietnamese tourists, who he says like to come to Laos to marvel at the country’s natural beauty.
Board member of the Association of Guides, Inthy Deuansavanh, owner of Green Discovery Laos, told the Vientiane Times, “Indeed, the highlight of Lao tourism, especially in Vangvieng, is the beautiful natural environment.”
“In my opinion, many Vietnamese don’t know much about the kind of natural wonders that Laos offers. I learned that in Vietnam many people love nature. They like to hike and see how local people make a living. »
“In Vietnam, nature-based tourism is growing very rapidly and involves students, businessmen and middle-class families. This is the market we want to enter,” he said.
Inthy said that although many foreign tourists came to Laos after the country reopened on May 9, the number of arrivals was still less than 10% of pre-pandemic figures.
Many people do not travel beyond neighboring countries and most foreign tourists currently coming to Laos are from Thailand, he said.
“It could take at least a year for visitor numbers to normalize until there’s another pandemic,” said Inthy, who is also a board member of the National Chamber of Commerce and industry of Laos.
At present, nature lovers from Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia make up the bulk of visitors to Laos.
“To attract such kind of visitors from Vietnam, we need to design special activities such as sports competitions and trail running. This would allow tourists to explore nature and we plan to organize a trail in November,” he said.
“To be successful, we need to partner with tour operators in Vietnam as well as popular websites and influencers to promote Laos natural attractions to Vietnamese people.”
Vangvieng, a popular tourist hotspot, was a popular destination for Western backpackers before Koreans and other Asians discovered the riverside retreat between 2016 and 2018.
The area is popular for its outdoor activities, such as kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, biking, and cave exploring.
Inthy said: “When the Covid restrictions are lifted in China, we will focus on Chinese nature lovers and encourage them to come to Laos.”
“The strength of Laos is its natural environment, so we have to make sure that our tourist information campaign reaches the target groups.”
One of the main challenges for Laos is the limited funding to promote the country to international visitors. Because of this, many people still don’t know about Laos and its beautiful landscapes.
Inthy said tourism campaigns should be conducted in such a way that people are made aware of the natural splendors found in Laos.