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First tour guides and drivers become LaoSafe certified

The LaoSafe programme certified 45 tour guides and 30 drivers during a ceremony held on March 3 in Vientiane.
The goal of the LaoSafe programme is to improve the quality of health and hygiene practices, while building confidence in the Lao PDR as a safe tourist destination.

 

After having previously handed over LaoSafe certificates to more than 40 professionals and businesses on February 28, the Tourism Management Department of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICT), represented by Deputy Director General, Mr Xaysombath Bounnaphon, addressed the attending tour guides and drivers by congratulating them for passing the assessment and their commitment to provide a safe environment for both domestic and international tourists.
Under the current COVID guidelines governing international tourism to the Lao PDR, tour guides and drivers constitute one of the major points of contact for tourists. ‘As international tourists may, at this stage, only enter the country by way of organised tours, it is all the more important for the country as well as its incoming tourists to rely on professionals such as yourselves who are serious about upholding great hygiene standards at all times,’ Mr Xaysombath Bounnaphon noted.
‘We all had some fundamental understanding of relevant hygiene procedures and standards, but the training made us aware of scenarios and practices most of us hadn’t thought of previously,’ Mr Kethavy Sisavath, one of the certified LaoSafe tour guides explained. This was also echoed by Mr Syamphone Khamphavongsa who was also handed his LaoSafe driver certificate: ‘The training was very practical, consisting of simulations such as responding to the news of having had contact with a COVID positive passenger and applying correct procedures.’
As further remarked by Mr Xaysombath Bounnaphon, who handed out the LaoSafe certificates to the attending tour guides and drivers, ‘there is a growing demand from the private sector to become LaoSafe certified. We are now focusing on keeping the momentum going, responding to the growing number of requests, and expanding the training for tour guides and drivers in other key provinces such as Luang Prabang and Vientiane Province.’

 


Against the backdrop of the 22 businesses, 45 tour guides and 30 drivers that have so far been certified, the programme is also preparing additional trainers and assessors for the accommodation subsector, with hotels across the country keen to become LaoSafe certified.
More tour guides, drivers and businesses are set to be certified, with additional awarding ceremonies planned to take place in Vientiane and Luang Prabang over the coming weeks and months.
LaoSafe is a health and hygiene programme approved by the Ministry of Health and the MICT and comprises a series of health and hygiene standards for different subsectors of the tourism and hospitality industry, including for accommodation providers, food and beverage (F&B) outlets, airlines, tour guides and drivers.
The programme is supported by the Skills for Tourism Project (LAO/029), which is co-financed by the governments of the Lao PDR, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Switzerland, and implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sports of the Lao PDR and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.
More information on LaoSafe can be obtained under: www.tourismlaos.org or via email [email protected]


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 (Latest Update March 4, 2022)


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