Vientiane, Lao PDR, January 25, 2024 / TRAVELINDEX / Captivating the delegates with performances of cultural splendor and unity at the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2024 in Vientiane, Laos. ATF 2024 is taking place from February 22nd to 24th, with the theme ‘Quality and Responsible Tourism,’ lights the way to sustain ASEAN’s vibrant future.
The opening ceremony was held at the Don Chan Palace Hotel in presense of the Deputy Prime Minister of Lao PDR, the Secretary-General of ASEAN and the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism of Lao PDR, Mrs. Suansavanh Viyaket among a large number of dignitaries from all ASEAN countries.
Her Excellency, Mrs. Suansavanh Viyaket, emphasized why Laos holds a special place as a preferred tourism destination, distinguishing itself with its breathtaking natural beauty characterized by lush jungles, serene rivers, and majestic mountain ranges. The country’s untouched and pristine environment appeals strongly to nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Beyond its natural splendors, Laos is celebrated for the warm hospitality ingrained in its local culture. The Laotian people are renowned for their friendliness, warmly welcoming visitors and eagerly sharing their cultural traditions.
Moreover, Laos boasts a wealth of historical treasures, including the UNESCO-acclaimed town of Luang Prabang, the mysterious Plain of Jars, and ancient temples like the revered Wat Phou. Each of these sites provides a window into the country’s rich history and heritage.
ASEAN Secretary-General, Dr. Kao Kim Hourn delivered remarks during the Opening Ceremony and in his speech, Dr. Kao underscored the importance of ASEAN maintaining the positive momentum of progress in the development of the ASEAN tourism sector. He also highlighted that sustainable tourism development is crucial in the conservation and preservation of the environment, local culture and heritage, as well as in driving economic growth in the region.
Themed “Quality and Responsible Tourism – Sustaining ASEAN Future,” the forum aims to strengthen collaboration in further improving ASEAN tourism products to attract more international tourists.
The Lao government expects to attract at least 2.7 million foreign tourists in 2024, generating about US$401 million in revenue. Foreign tourist arrivals are forecast to reach 2.9 million and generate an income of $434 million in 2025.
To fulfil the expectations, the Lao government is putting every efforts including infrastructure enhancement, tourism products diversification and service quality elevation.
In 2024, Laos will host a series of significant events, including the 44th and 45th ASEAN summits, and other ASEAN-related meetings. The country anticipates these events will further elevate its status as a prime tourist destination, drawing in more visitors and fostering international collaborations, said the report.