Avani+ Luang Prabang gears up for visitors during Visit Laos Year

Welcoming Visit Laos Year 2018, Vientiane Times is publishing a series of feature articles
and images inviting you to experience the authentic nature, culture,
history and hospitality of Laos, Jewel of the Mekong.

Avani+ Luang Prabang, a popular hotel in the tourist hotspot of Luang Prabang, has pulled out all the stops to support the Visit Laos Year campaign and to back the local government’s efforts to promote the town around the world.
Avani+ is located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site, opposite the night market and surrounded by old temples such as Vat Xiengthong and Vat Mai. It is also close to the natural beauty of the Mekong River and just 15 minutes from the international airport.

Manager of the Avani Luang Prabang, Andrew Jansson (centre), stands with his staff at the hotel reception desk. --Photos Khamphan

Avani Hotels and Resorts, a member of the Minor Hotels Group, opened its first property in Laos on March 1 through the acquisition of an existing 53-room property. The French neo-classical building dates back to 1914 and resembles the grand villas found in the province.
The Avani+ Luang Prabang is the ninth Avani property in Southeast Asia, which includes five hotels in Thailand, two in Vietnam, and one in Malaysia.
Asked about the challenges of ensuring customer satisfaction during an interview with Vientiane Times, the General Manager of Avani+ Luang Prabang, Andrew Jansson, said “The main challenge for us now is that there is a lot of competition in the market, and a lot of growth in the hospitality industry, especially in Luang Prabang. We can see every year that more and more hotels are coming up, and though this means more choice, it also means more growth for the city, which will be beneficial in the long run.”
“The challenge really is to find a way to differentiate yourself from the other offerings, to set yourself apart, and to find the right partners to work with. And also to find the right channels to market and sell the product to the right people. It is not only about marketing the hotel, but about the destination as well.”
“We always focus on our guests, so that we can provide them unique and special experiences. Our goal is to create much more awareness about the product and about the destination in general, to bring more people back to Luang Prabang and Laos. Among our main customers, the number one is Thailand, followed by China, Japan, the US and the UK.” Mr Jansson said he had heard of Luang Prabang but had never imagined it would be such a beautiful place.
“The environment, the natural beauty of the place is fantastic. I had never been to Luang Prabang though I have been in Asia all my life. Now I ask myself why I never came here before? I lived in Thailand for many years but I never came to Luang Prabang,” he said.  “This is what we aim to change, broaden the exposure of this great destination.”
Besides the beauty of Luang Prabang, the people are so gracious and hospitable and the food is excellent, he added.
“Everyone really should come together to promote Luang Prabang and Laos as a destination across the world. I think Luang Prabang has huge potential for growth in the future with more and more direct flights coming in, plus with all partners involved working together.”
During Visit Laos Year, Avani+ will promote Luang Prabang as a unique experience for its guests, including the beautiful Mekong River and the cultural sites around the town. The hotel has invited media from around the world to the hotel, and plans to also introduce them to unique and different local attractions such as the Buffalo Dairy Farm, the Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden, the Mekong Kingdoms boat operations, as well as popular sites such as the Kuangxi waterfalls.
“These journalists will, of course, promote this hotel, but they will also to help promote Laos. It is perfect timing because it’s Visit Laos Year, so it’s great for them to experience all this. We are trying to invite more people to get more publicity for the destination, and about 40 journalists are expected in just the next two months,” Mr Jansson said.
Luang Prabang, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1995, is already one of the most popular destinations in Laos and is becoming even more well known around the world. The province now has more than 81 hotels with over 2,200 rooms to cater to visitors who want to experience the unique charms of this timeless destination.


By Sisay Vilaysack
(Latest Update March 17, 2018)

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