Program Director of the TUI Care Foundation, Mr. Jost Neumann was at the conference to discuss a global partnership to implement the 10-year Doha Program of Action to accelerate the graduation of least developed countries from their categorization as the most vulnerable places in the world.

At the event, he spoke to Vientiane Times about the Tourist Development Fund initiated to assist nine least-developed countries, including Laos.

“We are launching today the Tourism Development Fund, which targets nine least developed countries, one of which is Laos. We look to implement the project in these nine countries until 2030,” said Neumann.

Neumann added that the Foundation had learned that Laos has huge tourism development potential thanks to the country’s striking landscapes and central location in the Mekong region, adding that tourism development can make a significant contribution to economic growth and poverty alleviation in Laos.

He pointed out that Laos’s main challenges are the lack of a skilled workforce and the innovation and entrepreneurship needed to unlock the potential for tourism growth, which also applies to other developing countries.

The support program’s main focus will be capacity building, specifically strengthening tourism-related education, conserving cultural assets and natural beauty, and enhancing tourism entrepreneurship in small and medium-sized businesses.

In preparation for hosting the ASEAN Summit in 2024, the government of Laos will also declare 2023–2024 as a Tourism Year and will implement extensive measures to promote the country and draw in tourists.

According to