Laos is a relatively new player in the MICE industry. In neigbouring countries like Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam infrastructures are more developed and naturally, this gives them a competitive advantage. In Laos you have to think “small”; hotels with capacities of a few hundred rooms plus convention centers, public transports and road systems which allow for a more personalized service; Laos is a “boutique MICE destination”.
Laos is a cultural rich and little populated country with merely 6.5 million people on a territory the size of Great Britain. However, the country is home to over 50 different ethnic groups. Laos boasts two magnificent UNESCO World Heritage sites with Luang Prabang old town and Vat Phou pre-Angkorian era temples in Champassak province. The country has strong arguments for attracting small and larger corporate events; its people and stunning natural sceneries. The slow pace of life, the serenity, this laid-back feel, the strong Buddhism presence in people’s everyday life combined to spectacular natural sites with the Mekong as spine of life shapes a setting that can be of appeal to those MICE-Planners and decision takers in search of original and pure experiences.
Laos has a great meetings and events hosting potential as a singular and stand-alone destination but Laos can be easily incorporated in a fantastic regional combinations with Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Lao Airlines, Vietnam Airlines and Thai Airways enable to connect directly major tourist destinations like:
• Luang Prabang to: Hanoi (Vietnam; and further overland or by helicopter to Halong Bay), Chiang Mai and Bangkok (Thailand), Siem Reap (Cambodia)
• Vientiane to: Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
• Pakse to: Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City
So Laos combines perfectly either in harmony or in contrast with its neighbors. Think of the peaceful colonial charm of Luang Prabang combined to vibrant Bangkok life, or the majesty of Halong Bay with the enchantment of slow pace of life by the upper Mekong in northern Laos. How about the fascinating sites of Angkor with the glittering of the Buddhist temples of Luang Prabang or the crystal clear waters of Thailand’s southern islands with the lush green adventures around Vientiane.