Source: Vientiane Times
Laos has seen an improvement in its travel and tourism competitiveness, but still has a long way to go to catch up with neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam, according to a report from the World Economic Forum.
The Switzerland-based forum has posted the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 on its official website, giving an insight into the current state of the global travel and tourism industry.
According to the report, Laos ranked 94th among 136 economies in the latest Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, an improvement of two places compared to the previous assessment.
The assessment is based on a survey of five tourism-related areas. The first one is an enabling environment such as the business environment, safety and security, health and hygiene, human resources and the labour market.
The second area is tourism policy and enabling conditions, and the assessment looks at the prioritisation of travel and tourism, international openness, price competitiveness, and environmental sustainability.
The third area which the assessment takes into consideration when ranking economies is infrastructure.
The Forum assesses whether the surveyed country has sufficient airports and other related tourism service infrastructure.
The fourth area in the assessment criteria is the country’s natural and cultural resources. The final area is ICT readiness.
According to the report, Laos scored high in price competitiveness, ranking 14th out of the 136 economies.
This indicates that Lao tourism service fees are cheap compared to the rest of the world.
But Laos faces a huge battle to improve indexes in infrastructure, cultural resources and travel businesses, security and the business environment.
Despite the recent positive development of the tourism industry in Laos, data in the report shows that industry competitiveness is still far behind that of its rivals in Asean.
In the region, Laos was ranked 9th among the 10 Asean nations. It was only slightly better than Cambodia.
Compared to Vietnam and Thailand, Laos still has a long way to go to catch up with these neighbours. Overall, Vietnam was ranked in 67th place while Thailand secured 34th position.
One of the most interesting findings in the report is the rapid improvement made by Vietnam, which moved up eight places compared to the previous survey.
Laos has been actively promoting its tourism industry in recent years. This year, the country launched the Visit Laos Year campaign, hoping to attract more local and foreign tourists.
The country expects to welcome about 5 million tourists in 2018. As part of efforts to promote the tourism industry, the country has advertised the beauty of Laos via exhibitions and international media outlets.