- General

Lao Hotels are Leading the Way in Sustainable Tourism

With the support of the EU-funded SUSTOUR Laos project, five hotels in Luang Prabang and Vientiane Capital have been awarded with the Travelife sustainability certification – Souphattra Hotel, Luang Prabang View Hotel, Angsana Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel, Salana Boutique Hotel and Maison Dalabua Hotel.

During the 2023 Made-In-Laos Opening Ceremony, five hotels were awarded with the Travelife certification in recognition of their commitment to sustainability. The event was attended by the honorable Dr Sonexay SIPHANDON, Prime Minister of Laos, Mr Malaythong Kommasith, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mr. Niall Leonard, Charge de Affairs of the European Union Delegation in Laos. Mr. Leonard personally handed over the awards to each of the five hotels that are leading the way in sustainable tourism – Souphattra Hotel, Luang Prabang View Hotel, Angsana Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel, Salana Boutique Hotel and Maison Dalabua Hotel.

The European Union’s co-funded Project is implemented by Plan International Laos, the European Centre for Ecological and Agricultural Tourism (ECEAT) and LNCCI. SUSTOUR Laos has assisted tourism businesses in Vientiane Capital, Luang Prabang and Vientiane Province in adopting and promoting sustainable consumption and production (SCP) practices throughout their supply chains and business processes. Successful adoption of SCP practices is awarded by the Travelife certification which is recognized internationally as the leading certification in sustainable tourism. Mr Xaysomphet Norlasing, Director General of the Department of Trade Promotion from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) highlighted significance of Laos National Green Growth Strategy, 9th Five-Year National Socio-Economic Development Plan, and the National Tourism Strategy. “We focus on capacity building and promoting entrepreneurs to adopt sustainable consumption and production practices.

The MoIC, LNCCI and the SUSTOUR Laos Project work to assist the MSMEs in the tourism industry to improve their sustainable practices and obtain Travelife Certificates.” Mr Douangchanh Chanhma, the General Manager of Souphattra Hotel, Luang Prabang, joins the handover ceremony and receives the Travelife Certified status. Mr Chanhma stated, “When getting to know Travelife Certification and the benefits of holding it, I immediately decided to participate in the activity. It is necessary for our business; otherwise, we cannot compete in the supply chain of the sustainable tourism industry. After joining the training provided by the SUSTOUR Laos Project, my management team and I have worked hard to improve our operation and services in Souphattra Hotel to meet the standards of the Travelife sustainability certification.” Mr LEONARD remarked that “the European Union (EU) is proud to support micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs to enter the green tourism sector.

Laos as a Green Destination will increase income and employment opportunities, while strengthening environment protection and climate change mitigation. Overall, this step represents a significant contribution to sustainable national economic growth.” Ms Chanthachone VONGSAY, Vice President of LNCCI, said, “In highly competitive business as the tourism industry, the LNCCI recognizes that MSMEs in Laos have the potential to grow and to meet the global standards of sustainability in tourism. With the support from the European Union and Plan International Laos, the GoL and LNCCI have motivated, promoted and assisted the MSMEs in the supply chain of the tourism industry to improve the quality of sustainable operations and services. This will pinpoint Laos as a final destination of many responsible tourists.” Ms Keota THAMNUVONG, the Residence Manager of Salana Boutique Hotel, Vientiane Capital, participates in the honourable and remarkable event and expresses that “Holding a Travelife Certificate is critical for our hotel to showcase the world that Lao businesses recognize the sustainability in the tourism industry, may attract more responsible tourists, and become a competitive business.

Becoming a Travelife Certificate holder is challenging; however, maintaining it is more challenging. We must improve ourselves regularly to be in the leading businesses’ supply chain of the competitive, sustainable tourism industry, and I believe we can make it.” More and more tour operators and tourism businesses are taking an active approach towards sustainability, not only because consumers expect them to do so but also because they are aware that sustainable destinations are essential for the long-term recovery of the tourism industry. The SUSTOUR Laos Project’s Memorandum of Understanding was signed on December 15, 2021, between Plan International Laos and the Department of Trade Promotion, Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC). With funding from the European Union and Plan International Germany, Plan International Laos has committed to implementing the SUSTOUR Laos project in 11 districts across Luang Prabang Province, Vientiane Province, and Vientiane Capital. Running until mid-2024, the Project will include the roll-out of the Travelife sustainability programme among local tourism industry MSMEs.

Source: Lao News Agency