Laos would be more attractive to tourists if they could be assured of food quality and international hygiene standards

Introduction: The Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality hosted a symposium in Vientiane titled “Why food safety and hygiene matters for Lao tourism”, which was attended by over 50 people representing the public and private sectors.

Story: Speaking at the event, Deputy Director General of the Food and Drug Department, Dr Sivong Sengaloundeth, said “Restaurants in Laos must become aware of international food production safety and hygiene standards, as this would greatly help the country to attract more tourists.”He referred to “The Mark” initiative recently launched for restaurants as part of the Luang Prabang Safe and Green Tourism Scheme. Dr Sivong said tourism was one of the main sectors generating income for Laos, but a reputation for food safety would be crucial in bringing more tourists to the country.

Also speaking at the symposium, Senior Expert in Postharvest from the Thai Department of Agriculture, Dr Amara Chinaphuti, shared Thailand’s good practice in the area of food safety and hygiene for tourists. She said, Thailand links food safety and hygiene to tourism through Q (Quality) Restaurant certification, which is done using Clean Food, Good Taste signs. Dr Amara also stressed “If food safety is ensured in Laos, which is already popular because of its stunning scenery, the country will be more attractive to visitors.”

The United Nations International Project Coordinator who introduced “The Mark” to Luang Prabang, Mr Franck Caussin, said food safety was an important issue so he decided to discuss this with the owners of hotels and restaurants to improve kitchen practices.He said, “The Mark”, which denotes clean and safe dining certification which meets international standards, is already taking off in Luang Prabang, and the same process can easily be applied in Vientiane.

Source: Lao National Television News in English
Broadcast on October 28, 2014