The success of the LaoSafe initiative has boosted confidence both inside and outside the country, paving the way for the arrival of international travellers.
Laos is now open to both vaccinated travellers and those who are not vaccinated but have tested negative for the Covid-19 virus. While restorative measures still apply in other countries, Laos has moved quickly to simplify the arrival experience with the goal of boosting the number of visitors to the country – a dynamic reversal after two years of tightly controlled borders.
LaoSafe has bolstered visitors’ confidence in tourism providers through its program of education, certification, and promotion; at the time of writing, more than 50 restaurants, 60 hotels, 500 tour guides, and 180 drivers, along with 2 airlines have been certified by the initiative.
This openness, combined with the safety and security of LaoSafe-certified tourism businesses, has made Laos alluring for international travellers.
Implemented by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, and approved by the Ministry of Health, LaoSafe is a nationwide initiative designed to create a world-class health and hygiene system within the tourism and hospitality industry. Sector-specific standards have been developed for accommodation, food and beverage, tour guides, and drivers, to raise the benchmark of hygiene provision throughout the country and build international confidence in Laos as a safe tourist destination.
The LaoSafe program was initially rolled out in several areas especially beloved by travellers – including the UNESCO World Heritage city Luang Prabang – and is now expanding throughout other destinations across Laos. An investment in both local and national tourism providers that, along with Laos’ fully open borders and lack of internal movement restrictions, makes the country an outstanding tourist destination.
“The LaoSafe certification program has used the time of Laos’ closure to prepare for an influx of tourists post-Covid. “Now that the country is open again, the tourism industry is more prepared than ever to welcome travellers and to establish its reputation as Southeast Asia’s premiere destination”, said Mme Darany Phommavongsa, Director General of the Tourism Management Department, under the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.
The LaoSafe program is supported by the Skills for Tourism Project (LAO/029), which is co-financed by the governments of the Lao PDR, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Switzerland, and implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sports of Laos and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.