Lao media get firsthand insight into tourism in Indonesia

Media representatives from Laos participated in a familiarisation trip (famtrip) to popular tourist destinations in Jakarta, Bali and Yogyakarta to learn about the culture of the Republic of Indonesia.
The familiarity and culture-sharing trip from August 16-23, the first programme of its kind, was attended by five journalists from Lao National Television, the Vientiane Mai newspaper and the Facebook page Talk To Teens, as well as this writer from the Lao Press in Foreign Languages, representing Vientiane Times.
The programme was hosted by the Embassy of Indonesia to Laos and sponsored by the Indonesian government, Lion Air, the Borobudur Hotel in Jakarta, and Element by the Westin Bali Ubud Hotel in Bali.
The Indonesian Embassy organised the trip to strengthen relations between the two countries through the sharing of traditions and culture and the promotion of Indonesian tourist destinations. 

On behalf of Lao media personnel, Mr Bounmy Sivilay (left) from the Vientiane Mai newspaper receives a souvenir from an official at Indonesia’s Tourism Ministry. 

All the participants were excited to travel to the wonderful locations and sample Indonesian delicacies. The group received a warm welcome from the organisers and officials at Indonesia’s Tourism Ministry, who accompanied the visitors and were always on hand to provide assistance.
The visitors enjoyed learning about Indonesian culture and taking part in various activities. Of particular relevance was the visit to popular tourist destinations and experiencing the traditions and lifestyle of the people in Bali and Yogyakarta.
Mr Khoua Yang, a journalist from Lao National Televison, said he was pleased to have this wonderful opportunity.
“Since the day we arrived in Indonesia, we have been very grateful for the friendly and warm welcome we received from the organisers and sponsors. The programme is an excellent opportunity for Lao media to share our culture, enhance mutual understanding and form a strong relationship of cooperation between Laos and Indonesia,” he said.
“We attended a ceremony to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of Indonesia’s Independence Day. During the celebrations, we saw many different tribes with their own religions, culture, dress and lifestyle but they all live together in peace and unity and also respect and honour each other.
“We were also able to witness the construction of buildings and highways, and learn about aspects of the development of the capital Jakarta as well as Bali and Yogyakarta. We realised that Indonesia is not only a place of importance for local people but also to foreign countries,” he added.
“All the activities we took part in fulfilled the main purposes of the programme, which were to share knowledge and experiences in relation to tourism and culture, and build understanding between Lao and Indonesian media personnel.”
Mr Bounmy Sivilay, a journalist from the Vientiane Mai newspaper, said he had learnt a lot of knowledge from the visit, especially about the traditions, culture and lifestyle of the Indonesian people and their socio-economic development.
“We learnt about tourist destinations in Bali, Yogyakarta and Jakarta. We witnessed the impressive development, notably the equality in development of infrastructure in urban and local areas of Indonesia,” he said.
 “We will never forget the things we did and saw. On behalf of all the participants, I would like to thank the Embassy of Indonesia for inviting us and for their warm welcome and fantastic hospitality. We will try to pass on what we have seen and learnt to the public, in order to contribute to the promotion of tourism, cooperation and exchanges between Laos and Indonesia.”
While in Jakarta, the group heard a presentation from the staff of the Borobudur
Hotel and met officials from Indonesia’s Tourism Ministry before a city tour.  
 The group visited several wonderful places in Bali and Yogyakarta provinces. They also met the owner of Element by Westin Bali Ubud Hotel. Lion Air flew the participants to all the destinations while providing excellent services during the journey.
Before the end of the trip, there was an event at which each participant made a speech about their impressions of the visit. All the participants, who were on their first visit to Indonesia, agreed the programme had been very worthwhile and had added considerably to their knowledge of regional tourism.
It is hoped more Lao people will visit Indonesia and that more Indonesian people will visit Laos, not only to witness the beauty of both countries but also to increase people-to-people contacts.

By Lamphone Pasanthong
(Latest Update September 17, 2018)

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