Recognized as one of the fastest-growing countries in Asia, Laos has witnessed rapid GDP growth since 2008. Among the country’s tourist highlights is Luang Prabang – a small city which is home to just over 50,000 people, and which welcomed 139,375 visitors in 2018 according to a recent Horwath report. While the numbers are still small, the government is launching initiatives in the hope of boosting tourist numbers. The latest campaign, Visit Laos, urges travelers to do precisely that, and has focused on the Chinese market and Scandinavia, using strategies such as visa exemptions and a new e-visa process. Since the government identified tourism as one of the eight priorities of national development and began promoting the country as a nature-oriented tourism destination back in 2008, tourist arrivals have been increasing sharply.
To maximize the potential of what the province of Luang Prabang has to offer, Pullman Luang Prabang aims to become “the place to be for MICE” in the region, providing the most extensive meeting facilities capable of catering for up to 600 people. This marks a significant transformation for Luang Prabang, because it had not always been previously possible to meet the needs of international conference organizers who demand professional facilities and innovative itineraries.
Located in 16 hectares of countryside, surrounded by paddy fields, rivers, and mountains, Pullman Luang Prabang offers spacious meeting rooms and activities for event attendees. Apart from in-house facilities, Pullman Luang Prabang has also teamed up with a series of local partners to create unique off-site activities that help MICE groups strengthen their bonds of friendship and give back to the local community. These offerings include Laos Buffalo Dairy – the first dairy farm in Laos which supplies local products including buffalo mozzarella to Pullman Luang Prabang – and local textile factories which offer insights into the local crafts and design.
Today’s leading visitors to Luang Prabang are domestic tourists, closely followed by the Chinese and the Thais, who take advantage of direct flights to cities such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Singapore, Kunming, Changsha, Shenzhen, and Shanghai. These links ensure that Luang Prabang is increasingly well-placed to serve more international MICE clients.
Although a little more expensive than competitors such as Thailand and Vietnam due to its relative isolation and limited numbers of suppliers, Luang Prabang remains a unique and novel destination which offers a rich cultural heritage and outstanding natural beauty.