On Wednesday, 30 September 2020, the BBGL held its September Networking event at the Secret Art & Wine Bar, Mandala Boutique Hotel at which it highlighted the difficulties faced by the tourism and hospitality industry and showed solidarity with those heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. A cheque for more than 11 million kip was presented on behalf of BBGL members to Mr. Bob Preston and Ms Caroline Debonnaire of the Solidarity Canteen in Luang Prabang to help sustain the many families who have lost their jobs and are struggling to sustain themselves.

The event was addressed by the UK Ambassador to Laos, Mr John Pearson, and we heard testimonies from hotel and restaurant owners about the difficulties they are facing, what they are doing to mitigate these issues and their thoughts on the future. Additional speakers were invited to promote hospitality and tourism initiatives. Mr Inthy Deuansavanh of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) spoke about the “Lao Thiao Lao” campaign, Mr Phoutthasinh Keoka spoke about the Lao Airlines “Fly, Eat, Travel” promotion and Mr. Lee Sheridan from the Skills for Tourism project spoke about building capacity within the tourism sector. Thank you to everyone who joined us and helped make the evening such a success. A special thank you also goes to our sponsors for the evening: Mandala Boutique Hotel, Doi Ka Noi, Le Padaek, Unicity DSC BHJ, Beer Lao and The Spirit House.

A special thank you today to Inthira Group who very kindly donated vouchers to the British Business Group Lao September Networking meeting.The vouchers were presented by Inthira Group Managing Director, Stanislas Fradelizi, and included offers for food and drinks at SunTara Restaurant, a complimentary night at Inthira Hotels, as well as activities in Fly At Tad Fane and The Rock Viewpoint at Phou Pha Marn courtesy of Green Discovery Laos. Attendees names were placed into a hat and drawn at random by BBGL Chairman, John Cockcroft. Congratulations to the lucky winners and thank you once again to Inthira Group for your generous contribution.