Vientiane Times/Asia News Network: A Laos tourism industry leader has targeted Vietnamese tourists who he says enjoy coming to Laos to admire the country’s natural beauty.
Guide Association board member Inti Deuansavan, who owns Green Discovery Laos, told the Vientiane Times: “Indeed, the strength of Laos tourism, especially in Vang Vieng, is the amazing nature.”
“In my opinion, many Vietnamese don’t know much about the natural wonders that Laos has to offer. I learned that in Vietnam, many people like nature. They enjoy traveling and learning how the locals make a living.”
“Natural tourism is growing very rapidly in Vietnam, which involves students, businessmen and middle-class families. This is the market we want to penetrate,” he said.
Inti said that while many foreign tourists have come to Laos since the country reopened on May 9, the number of arrivals is still less than 10 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
Many people don’t travel outside neighboring countries, he said, and most foreign tourists coming to Laos now are from Thailand.
“It could take at least a year for visitor numbers to normalize if there is no new pandemic,” said Inti, who is also a board member of the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Laos.
Currently, nature lovers from Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia make up the bulk of visitors to Laos.
“In order to attract these kinds of visitors from Vietnam, we need to promote special events such as sports competitions and trail running. This will allow tourists to explore nature, and in November we plan to organize trail running,” he said.
“To be successful, we need to partner with travel companies in Vietnam, as well as popular websites and influencers, to promote the natural attractions of Laos to the Vietnamese.”
Vang Vieng, a popular tourist destination, used to be a favorite destination for Western tourists before Koreans and other Asians discovered the riverside retreat between 2016 and 2018.
The area is popular for outdoor activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, trekking, biking and cave exploration.
Inti said: “When Covid restrictions are lifted in China, we will focus on Chinese nature lovers and encourage them to come to Laos.”
“The strength of Laos lies in its natural environment, which is why we must ensure that our tourism information campaign reaches the target groups.”
One of the main problems of Laos is the limited funding to promote the country to foreign visitors. As a result, many people are still unaware of Laos and its magnificent scenery.
Inti said tourism campaigns should be conducted in a way that makes people aware of the beauty of nature that can be found in Laos.