Southern Laos dabbles in a brand

CHAMPASAK, 11 December 2015: Efforts to float a brand to promote four provinces in southern Laos are taking shape, but it might prove a bigger challenge to bring more tourists to the region.

The four provinces are adopting the brand “Southern Laos, Charming by nature”, to support tourism development in Saravanh, Sekong, Attapeu and Champasak as a single tourism destination.

It is fashionable to create a phrase and believe it will be the key element to ignite interest and travel demand and the four provinces may  be disappointed at the response if they have not enrolled the support of travel companies to create practical travel itineraries.

inside no 1Vientiane Times quoted Champasak deputy governor, Buasone Vongsongkhone, saying the brand launch states “our identity, about who we are, about what we stand for.”

“The brand reminds us about what we need to treasure and what kind of tourism we want to promote such as a sustainable tourism which is respectful to our culture, to our environment and which helps to share economic benefits amongst all members of the society in southern Laos.”

The brand was developed over 10 months, funded by Swisscontact, which in turn hired branding expert QUO, based in Bangkok, to brainstorm slogan.

CEO of QUO, David Keen, underlined that the brand launch  was just the start of a journey which is likely to contribute significantly to the economic success of the four southern provinces of Laos.

But he stressed the importance for local stakeholders to take ownership of the brand and to live it in their day-to-day operations.

Of the four southern provinces, only Champasak and Attapeu have airports designated for international travel.

There are very few travel itineraries featuring the four provinces other than Champasak that should be linked to destinations in Thailand’s Northeast and Cambodia on an international travel trail.

According to Tourism Development Department, last year Champasak attracted the most tourist arrivals at 535,413 up 8.56% from 493,180 following by Attapeu 153,846 (+35.97% from 113,151), Saravanh 78,534 (+12.96% from 69,524) and Sekong 26,509 (+17.22% from 25,175).