Swisscontact’s Vila Chanthavong, National Project Coordinator with the Swisscontact Mekong Inclusive Growth and Innovation Programme (MIGIP), facilitated the event, which featured opening remarks by Sengsoda Vanthanouvong, Deputy Director General at the Department of Tourism Marketing, MICT, and presentations by CBI experts Mr. Marlon van Hee and Wim van Heumen. Mrs. Vanthanouvong, stressed the importance of international visitors for Lao PDR in her opening remarks: “International visitors to Laos in 2016 shared only 16% of the total visitor number, but generated more than 54% of the total revenue from tourism. This is a very important workshop for the Lao tourism stakeholders to have a better understanding about European market, so we could attract more European tourists to Laos.”
The event provided the Lao PDR tourism sector with insights into growth opportunities in the EU market. While presenting the market opportunities in Europe for the Lao tourism sector, Mr. Van Hee discussed travel motivation factors, market segment growth potential, regions with potential for tourism development, and marketing and visibility strategies that Lao PDR businesses can deploy to reach EU customers. CBI will now conduct a value chain analysis on the tourism sector in Laos PDR as part of the Laos Tourism Programme. In order to discuss and validate the findings of the value chain analysis, CBI will organise a tourism stakeholders conference in September 2017.