What is needed to put Saravan on the tourism map?

Reporters are visiting Saravan to learn about the province’s tourist attractions, with the trip organised by the Tourism Marketing Department of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism. Vientiane Times talked to those involved in tourism about their thoughts concerning the growth of the industry.

 

Mr Veelavanh Lodsouvanh, a journalist with the Lao News Agency, Vientiane: We have been working in Saravan to promote tourism here. Our goal is to observe the province’s tourist attractions and make them known to the wider public. Our work benefits the local economy and we are continuing the activities begun under the Visit Laos Year 2018 programme. I’m happy to be here along with reporters from other news outlets as everyone seems to be up-to-date in this field and of course it’s been great to visit so many wonderful places in this province. 

Ms Souksavanh Boutthavong, the owner of a guesthouse in Saravan province: The presence of the media here is a huge boost for Saravan as reporters can get to see all the interesting places we have and want to share with others. If the reporters can go back to Vientiane and produce programmes or write articles about all that we have to offer, Saravan will become more widely known and more people will want to visit. Hopefully, people will catch programmes or advertisements about us on television and radio, or read about our attractions in the newspapers and on social media. Of course, if we get more visitors it’s good for the hotel business, which in turn helps to boost the local economy.

Mr Santisouk, a journalist at Lao National Television, Vientiane: Our visit to Saravan is intended to promote tourism and to encourage people here to improve visitor attractions so that more people want to come to Saravan. We want to focus on the province’s natural beauty as well as the local culture and persuade more people to visit this province. They will have a wonderful trip and thoroughly enjoy the unspoiled natural environment.

Ms Nuan Phaengta, a resident of Saravan province: Although the government ran the Visit Laos Year 2018 campaign last year, we didn’t benefit much in Saravan as we don’t have many activities that entice visitors. I am glad that reporters from Vientiane are concerned about tourism promotion and I would like those who are experienced in the field to teach our tourism officials how they can devise activities that boost the livelihoods of local people. We need to provide more people with jobs. For instance, you could have people selling souvenirs at tourist sites as well as teaching the locals about the importance of protecting nature.

Ms Chanthavone Vannavong, a student at L’Ecole Normale Superieure de Salavan, Ministry of Education and Sports: I think it will be beneficial for Saravan if senior officials teach students at colleges and schools about tourism and the potential it holds for development and income generation. As far as I know, there are no advertisements about tourism at my school and students really don’t know what they can do to help promote tourism here. I think it’s a good thing to encourage young people as they are the ones using social media and have a lot of friends in other provinces and countries. They are a good medium for promoting our attractions online. Photos depicting the beauty of our provincial capital would capture people’s attention. There are lots of things here that can be highlighted, but it’s also important to renovate places that are falling into disrepair.

By Phouthong Sivongsa
(Latest Update January 8, 2019)


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