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International tour agency beats path to Laos

The Asian Trails Travel Company, offering varied tours in eight countries in Asia, yesterday officially opened an office in Vientiane to promote local tourism to the world and benefit local communities.

Attending the opening ceremony at the company's office in Khounta Thong village, Sikhotthabong district, were Director Luzi Matzig, Managing Director Inthy Deuansavan, Deputy Chairman of the Lao National Tourism Administration Soukaseum Bodhisane, and various officials.

Asian Trails was first conceived in 1999, and now has its head office in Bangkok , Thailand , with other offices located in Cambodia , China , Indonesia , Malaysia , Myanmar and Vietnam .

The company has established a network which now covers all major Asian tourist destinations, with offices in all strategic inbound tourism centres throughout South East Asia .

Mr Inthy said the tour operation not only focuses on offering varied tours, but also benefits local communities.

We will explain to communities about the importance of the tourist attractions in their neighbourhoods, and the importance of cultural diversity in drawing visitors to Laos ,” he said.

“Once people see they can generate an income from our tours, they will work together to conserve tourist attractions.”

He added that they would also provide as much information as possible to advise visitors how they should behave in these areas, and their responsibilities to the natural environment as tourists.

The company will run tours to all the popular tourist sites in the capital, such as local temples, the National Museum , That Luang Stupa and Patouxay.

Deputy Chairman of the Lao National Tourism Administration Soukaseum Bodhisane said as the number of visitors has rapidly increased over the years, any investments in the tourism sector in Laos would be a good idea.

“Actually, in Laos , there are more than 100 tour operators, but only a dozen of them can operate successfully and internationally. Asian Trails Laos will be one of them,” he said, adding that it would be interesting to find out the secrets behind the company's success.

Asian Trails Laos is also a member of the Lao Association of Travel Agents, which has been established to promote its members on a national level and to contribute to the development of the tourism sector in Laos .

By Phonesavanh Sangsomboun

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