VIENTIANE, 16 June 2016: Lao PDR’s Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism believes the ASEAN Economic Community will provide more opportunities for women entrepreneurs to succeed and advance their careers in tourism.
Vientiane Times was reporting, Monday, on a network forum for women professionals who are working in Southeast Asia’s tourism and travel sector held in Vientiane.
Information, Culture and Tourism deputy minister, Savankhone Razmountry, was quoted saying the forum was a good opportunity for female tourism professionals to learn from each other’s experiences and networks across national boundaries to improve their business and career opportunities within ASEAN.
“Women are a strong force in tourism and hospitality management and are critical to sustain economic growth across the ASEAN region,” the deputy minister said.
Australian Ambassador to Laos, John Owen Williams, noted businesswomen already played an important role in tourism.
“Supporting ASEAN women tourism entrepreneurs to meet and share their experiences opens up more opportunities to grow business and strengthen tourism across the region.”
In Laos and across ASEAN, women already make up 60% of the tourism industry workforce, he said.
ASEAN countries welcomed slightly more than 98 million international tourists to the region, last year, up 7.3% from 2014.
Total visitors to Laos reached 4.6 million in 2015 and are projected by the Lao Tourism Development Department to surpass 6 million by 2020, then rising to 8 million by 2025.