Laos has only three hotels of 5 star standard, with all of these located in Vientiane, according to the 2013 Official Hotel Classification Directory from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.
The 5 star accommodations are the Lao Plaza Hotel with 134 rooms, Green Park Boutique Hotel with 34 rooms, and the Don Chan Palace with 240 rooms.
“These three hotels have met our guidelines for 5 star classification,” said the Director General of the ministry’s Tourism Marketing Department, Mr Saly Phimphinith. “Hotels in the provinces cannot attain these standards because they don’t have meeting rooms, car parks and other facilities, which are what we look for in the highest grade of accommodation.”
Mr Saly told Vientiane Times yesterday the department advised other hotels how to improve so they could achieve this important recognition in the future.However, the department could not force facilities to improve or change their grading measures because it had a duty to follow the guidelines and ensure quality services for the tourism and business market.
According to statistics from the ministry’s Tourism Development Department, the number of accommodation, restaurant and leisure venues in Laos rose from 1,774 in 2011 to 3,526 in 2012.
Deputy Minister Mr Chaleune Warinthrasak said last week “The increase in hotels, resorts, restaurants and entertainment venues is due to the rising numbers of tourists who need these services.” To meet the needs of the increasing number of visitors, more businesses and services have been created but there are still not enough.
However, with more types of lodging and tourist services being made available, business operators should seek to improve their quality and standards so that tourists are satisfied. Operators should be prepared to develop more of these places because trends indicate that visitor numbers will be even higher in the coming years.
Visitor figures are currently increasing each year. In 2006, 1.2 million people visited Laos, rising to 1.6 million in 2008 before a jump to 2.5 million in 2010 and 3.3 million in 2012 .
The government estimates that tourist arrivals could reach over 3.5 million next year and as many as 4.5 million people in 2020.
published with the permission of Vientiane Times