Laos sees conference tourism as ‘opportunity’

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Laos conference center
The new Lao International Convention Center in Vientiane

The hotel and travel industry of Laos is studying how MICE tourism (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) could create an opportunity for the sector and become a revenue generator.

During a recent event held by the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, representatives of the tourism sector learned from foreign experts that Laos could indeed become an attractive MICE destination if it put a master plan together.

Laos needs to focus on its culture and “be different” to other nations such as Thailand to attract MICE visitors and high-end tourists. The advantage of such travelers is that they spend more, stay longer, benefit several businesses beyond hotels and restaurants and can fill the low season void.

However, to get fit for MICE tourism, Laos needs to implement the necessary infrastructure – which has been started with the new, Chinese-built Lao International Convention Center in Vientiane – and train people with hospitality skills. Furthermore, it should lower visit visa costs that currently stand at $30 as this is seen as a major obstacle especially for travel groups and given the fact that other countries in the region  such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore charge nothing for most Western visitors.

Laos could actually make more money by lowering visa fees, which would attract high-spending MICE and leisure tourists, the experts said.

And the country needs to implement strategies through a greater creative use of current resources and collaboration efforts of tourism stakeholders.

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[caption id="attachment_15020" align="alignleft" width="300"] The new Lao International Convention Center in Vientiane[/caption] The hotel and travel industry of Laos is studying how MICE tourism (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) could create an opportunity for the sector and become a revenue generator. During a recent event held by the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, representatives of the tourism sector learned from foreign experts that Laos could indeed become an attractive MICE destination if it put a master plan together. Laos needs to focus on its culture and "be different" to other nations such as Thailand to attract MICE visitors...

Reading Time: 1 minute

Laos conference center
The new Lao International Convention Center in Vientiane

The hotel and travel industry of Laos is studying how MICE tourism (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) could create an opportunity for the sector and become a revenue generator.

During a recent event held by the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, representatives of the tourism sector learned from foreign experts that Laos could indeed become an attractive MICE destination if it put a master plan together.

Laos needs to focus on its culture and “be different” to other nations such as Thailand to attract MICE visitors and high-end tourists. The advantage of such travelers is that they spend more, stay longer, benefit several businesses beyond hotels and restaurants and can fill the low season void.

However, to get fit for MICE tourism, Laos needs to implement the necessary infrastructure – which has been started with the new, Chinese-built Lao International Convention Center in Vientiane – and train people with hospitality skills. Furthermore, it should lower visit visa costs that currently stand at $30 as this is seen as a major obstacle especially for travel groups and given the fact that other countries in the region  such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore charge nothing for most Western visitors.

Laos could actually make more money by lowering visa fees, which would attract high-spending MICE and leisure tourists, the experts said.

And the country needs to implement strategies through a greater creative use of current resources and collaboration efforts of tourism stakeholders.

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