Landlocked Laos may seem like an unlikely destination for
adrenaline-fuelled activities, cultural experiences and natural beauty,
but it offers all of these and more.
As Vientiane prepares to host the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in 2024,
the city faces the challenge of showcasing the best of Laos in a short
period of time.
“We acknowledge the need to improve facilities and especially work
towards ensuring delegates and visitors next year can explore beyond
Vientiane,” said Sengsoda Vanthanouvong, deputy director general of
tourism marketing department, Ministry of Information, Culture and
“We are discussing with tour operators to overcome this and working
hand-in-hand with ASEANTA for their advice to ensure Vientiane’s
readiness to welcome all.”
Inthira Group, a leading Laos company that provides adventure travel
and ecotourism, is working with the MICT's Tourism Marketing Department
to create activities that will showcase Laos' tourism products for
delegates and visitors attending the ATF 2024.
One of the highlights is the high-speed train from Laos to China,
which connects Vientiane to Kunming, and passes through popular tourist
destinations such as the adventure hub of Vang Vieng and the cultural
city of Luang Prabang, both of which can be reached in under four hours.
Plans are also underway to increase the number of hotel rooms in the
city. Sirisuck Viradet, director of sales and marketing at Crowne Plaza
Vientiane, reported, "Vientiane will have an additional 725 rooms added
to our existing 14,000-plus rooms this year. Additionally, Crowne Plaza
is preparing a new meeting facility that can accommodate 1,500 guests in
time for the forum."
Other international properties, such as Amari Vientiane, DoubleTree
by Hilton Vientiane and Holiday Inn and Suites Vientiane, are expected
to open by the end of the year.
Indonesia Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno handing over the gravel of the ATF Chairmanship to Laos Minister of Culture, Information and Tourism Suanesavanh Vignaket at last Sunday’s ATF 2023 closing ceremony, signalling Laos as the host of ATF 2024.
In a special video message, Suanesavanh Vignaket, the Laos Minister
of Culture, Information, and Tourism, stated that by hosting the ATF,
Laos aims to strengthen its cooperation and further improve its tourism
products in order to attract more international tourists and contribute
to the local community.
At the closing ceremony of the ATF 2023, Suanesavanh received the
of the ASEAN Tourism Forum from Indonesia's Minister of Tourism and
Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, signifying Laos as the host of the ATF
The 43rd ATF, themed 'Quality and Responsible Tourism: Sustaining
ASEAN's Future", will be held in Vientiane from 15-20 January 2024.