Lao's Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism aims to contribute more revenue to national socio-economic growth by requesting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be its key supporter.
Through coordination with the foreign ministry, overseas embassies and consulates are expected to provide a much-needed push for the information, culture and tourism sector to perform its promotional tasks and raise Laos’ profile internationally.
The request was made on behalf of the ministry by Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Savankhone Razmountry at this week’s meeting hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ministry itself is playing a significant role as the country’s coordinator with the Asean cultural community of the Asean bloc.
“In a bid to perform the unique role of boosting income in line with the government’s green growth strategy and sustainable development goals, our ministry needs strong support from other government sectors, especially the foreign ministry,” he said.
He said media representatives from the information, culture and tourism sector would need to be sent to Lao embassies and consulates abroad, especially in strategic partnership countries so that they can spread the word about Laos and its vibrant tourism and culture sector.
“Some countries may not know about Laos that well, especially about its culture and tourism potential. In particular, China is a strategic partner that needs skilful media personnel who can try and attract more visitors to our country,” Savankhone said.
He also called for Lao embassies and consulates in foreign countries to regularly hold cultural events or festive activities that will enable the promotion of Laos’ culture overseas.
“Those media personnel in charge of information, culture and tourism sector, which can be sent overseas will also need to be technically and professionally trained. They ought to have the requisite linguistic efficiency with adequate support of the foreign ministry,” he said.
The government’s ultimate goal is to boost international visitor numbers to the country that is famed for its natural, cultural and historical tourism spots and helping generate revenue for the country.
This year, the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, with support of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and their development partners, organised the second Sustainable Tourism Solutions Expo in line with the government’s green growth strategy.
The expo was the region’s specialised fair for the tourism industry to celebrate, explore, and exhibit the latest trends, insights, and technology in sustainable tourism and hospitality practices.
Some 50 companies represented several categories relevant to the theme of the event – eco-friendly hotel supplies, handicrafts, organic food, initiatives and projects, as well as responsible tours and accommodation.
Laos is targeting a total of 4.5 million visitors this year. Of this figure, more than one million are Chinese, who are visiting as part of the Visit Laos-China Year 2019 campaign.
A report in October by the Tourism Development Department under the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism said more than 3.4 million people vacationed in Laos in the first nine months of this year, an increase of about 11 per cent compared to last year, of which 26 per cent were Chinese.
VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK