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Laos Gears Up to Host ASEAN Tourism Forum 2024

Source: Vientiane Times

Tourism authorities are preparingto host the annual Asean Tourism Forum next year, which will take place in Vientiane from January 22-27.

Minister​ of Information, Culture and Tourism, Ms. Suanesavanh Vignaket​, told a meeting on Friday to discuss preparations for the event that the forum will take the theme​ “Quality and Responsible Tourism-Sustaining Asean Future”. 

The forum will include a tourism exhibition, during which buyers and sellers from around the world can display and sell their products.

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The event provides a good opportunity for Lao tourism operators to have direct access to their target markets and to buy and sell tourism products through direct interface.

The forum serves to spur tourism and enable associated businesses to develop and improve their services, Mrs. Suanesavanh said. There will be also be opportunities for business networking, while the Asean Tourism Awards for 2023 will be presented. The Asean​ Tourism Ministers Meeting and Asean Tourism Senior Officials Meeting will also take place.

The government and businesses are now engaged in wide-ranging preparations, such as deciding on the opening and closing locations of the forum and the site of the tourism exhibition, and preparing invitations for Asean member countries, international organisations, and other entities that will attend the event.

The forum is a golden opportunity for Laos to advertise the country’s exciting tourist destinations and facilities to a huge international market.

Laos previously hosted the Asean Tourism Forum in 2004 and 2013, which served to publicise the country’s many tourist attractions and bring more  international tourists to Laos.

Laos is an intriguing destination for foreign visitors, who are keen to explore the country’s scenic attractions and observe local lifestyles and traditions. The government is especially emphasising the country’s potential as a nature-based tourism destination.

In addition, there are numerous colourful traditions to be observed among the country’s ethnic groups, while the old temples and historical sites are another drawcard.

Luang Prabang city’s old quarter was listed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in 1995 and is Laos’ most popular visitor attraction.

Vat Phou temple in Champassak province and the Plain of Jars in Xieng Khuang province are also world heritage sites.​

In the first three months of this year, more​ than​ 831,000 foreign tourists came to Laos, in stark comparison to the figure of 211,898 overseas visitors who came to the country in the first six months of 2022 – a clear indication that tourism is on the rebound.