Minimising the government’s financial burden when organising a national tourism event was the main topic Japanese tourism experts shared with Lao colleagues at a meeting last week.
The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism held the workshop in Vientiane province to share experiences with Japanese experts as the country prepares to organise Visit Laos Year in 2018.
At the meeting, senior Japanese tourism expert, Mr Moriyama Akira, pointed out the government’s role in giving guidance and developing policy when organising a national tourism event while getting the private sector to take ownership, so it will fund the activities.
An official from the ministry’s Tourism Marketing Department, Mr Anousone Duangsovath, said the Japanese expert also noted even high level government officials had to get involved, such as the prime minister ,holding a press conference to highlight the tourism event.
Moreover, he said referring to the Japanese experience, aside from getting businesses to sign on for the event secretariat, the government had to persuade them of the benefits to be received by participating.
Building awareness among the general public was another important component for the successful organisation of such an event, according to Mr Anousone, who referred to the experience of Japan, which successfully arranged its tourism year in 2003.
The nation previously organised Visit Laos Years in 1999-2000 and 2012, but the two events were not organised very effectively, according to the Lao tourism official.
Tourism is the second highest ranked sector in generating income for the nation. The number of foreign visitors to the country has continually increased over the past 15 years. Tourist arrivals were around 727,000 in 2000, which generated US$113 million for the nation, while the number of arrivals reached 4.6 million last year, generating US$725 million.
Tourism has directly and indirectly attracted investment to the country for the operation of hospitality businesses, along with infrastructure development, including roads and air ports.
The country expects to receive at least 6.8 million foreign guests in 2020, and earn around US$1 billion in revenue.
Source: Vientiane Times