Luang Prabang bucks travel trend

June 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Laos PDR, Mekong, News

LUANG PRABANG, 14 June 2017: Lao PDR’s World Heritage town Luang Prabang bucked the country’s negative trend in tourist arrivals in 2016 delivering a 5.88% increase, the town’s tourism department reported on the sidelines of the Mekong Tourism Forum last week.

Addressing a press conference, Luang Prabang deputy director Department of Information, Culture and Tourism, Soudaphone Khomthavong, said the destination continues to see positive results during the first quarter of this year, the only province to do so.

Overall, Laos closed 2016 with 4.68 million tourist arrivals, down 12.66% from 4.23 million in 2015. The last time the country saw its tourist arrivals dip was in 2001 and again in 2003. The drop in 2001 was blamed on the terror attack in the US and in 2003 on the SARS epidemic in Asia. Read more

Mekong Tourism: Is there a way forward?

June 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

LUANG PRABANG, 14 June 2017: “We shouldn’t repeat the mistakes of others, I am not happy with tourism development and be careful what you wish for,” were some of the cryptic comments of panelists at last week’s Mekong Tourism Forum.

Asked to talk about the way forward, 20 years after the first MTF convened in Thailand, a new generation appears to be ready to grapple with tough decisions and choices.

Their comments followed the official presentation of the GMS Tourism Strategy Draft Report 2016 to 2025 and a thought provoking keynote address by Conscience Travel Founder, Anna Pollock, who told the travel industry it isn’t an industry. Read more