VIENTIANE, Laos – The recently established Lao Tourism Marketing Board (LTMB) is taking shape and moving ahead with developing and implementing the tourism marketing strategy for Laos. The President and Directors, joined by the Chairman of the Lao National Tourism Administration (LNTA) and the Chairman of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) will present the objectives and plans on March 1, 2011 in Vientiane, Don Chan Palace Hotel.
Established by the Lao National Tourism Administration (LNTA) and private sector partners in July 2010, the Lao Tourism Marketing Board (LTMB) aims to forge a partnership between the public and private sectors to globally market Lao tourism and develop and implement a long-term tourism development strategy. LNTA Vice Chairman Soukaseum Bodhisane, who serves as LTMB President, said: “With private sector participation, the LTMB will complement our marketing activities and strategic direction. We are now able to work very closely together and benefit from the expertise and knowledge of the private sector and other ministries.”
The LTMB plans to finalize its marketing strategy by April 2011. According to this strategy, Laos will promote mainly in priority markets such as Europe (France, UK, Germany) and Asia Pacific (Japan, Korea, Australia) in order to increase tourist spending and length of stay. Nature and adventure lovers and active tourists from these and other markets will be targeted, mainly through the Internet. For this purpose, a new website with all products and services will be developed and various Internet and social media campaigns are suggested.
Public relations activities are also high on the agenda. The board is currently selecting a French firm to implement a pilot project to promote Laos in France. LTMB Director Alain Daout said: “PR activities will initially target the French market with the aim of becoming better known and promote the key attributes that attract tourists to the country. In a second phase, these promotional activities will be extended to all target markets and thereby move Laos as a tourist destination to a new level.”
To fund the LTMB’s initiatives, a new system to collect fees from tourists will be implemented this year, and the initial budget for the first year will be confirmed soon with the LNTA Minister, Chairman Somphong Mongkhonvilay.
Capping the LTMB’s debut is a professionally-designed logo that reflects public-private sector cooperation, harmony, and clarity, as well as a professional and strategic approach to destination marketing.
The launch conference on March 1 in Vientiane will introduce all directors and the president of the LTMB. They will briefly present the overall function and objectives of the board and the different key areas and strategic objectives of the marketing strategy and plan for 2011.