Travel operators across Laos are racing to certify tour guides and drivers to cope with the surge in demand for organised tours since Laos reopened its borders to international tourists on May 9.
LaoSafe has witnessed an increase in requests for training and certification with the anticipated influx of tourists for the coming season. To date, over 710 tour guides and 270 drivers have achieved LaoSafe certification.
LaoSafe is a nationwide initiative designed to create a world-class health and hygiene system within the tourism and hospitality industry, developing sector-specific standards for accommodation, F&B, 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.
Encouraging tour operators in Laos to apply for LaoSafe, Duangmala Phommavong, managing director, EXO Travel Laos, said: “The LaoSafe training that our guides have received has helped them prioritise safety and cleanliness. As a tour operator, I want travellers to know that Laos has safety standards in place for them to travel with peace of mind and confidence.”
A spokesperson of Asian Trails Laos commented that LaoSafe empowered DMCs like them to offer customers a “safe and quality experience” and access a “harmonisation of services and the creation of standards on a national scale”.
While visitor numbers have not returned to 2019 levels, the removal of entry restrictions has given the tourism and hospitality industry a welcome boost after two years of tightly controlled borders.