1 • THE ECOLODGE

                       

Many, many tourists who come to Laos prefer to stay in a quiet, clean, safe and peaceful lodging that is built using traditional Lao designs. If you are thinking of investing in a guest house or hotel, you should remember that it is very, very important to consider what your guests like in terms of building materials, decorations, furnishings, lighting, landscaping, service and location. If you build accommodation that you prefer without considering what your guests like, you may end up with no customers and quickly go out of business.

           

The design of traditional houses

can be used as a basis for the design of ecolodges

In Laos it may be the personal preference of the investor to build in concrete and brick because his parent’s house was made of wood and considered primitive. Yes, a concrete house gives face in local communities, lasts longer and is cheaper to maintain, however, tourists do not think this way. It is very important that you understand what tourists app- reciate because if you do, you are more likely to have a profitable business – the main reason you invested in the first place.

Tourists are tired of seeing concrete in the cities they live in and go on holiday to relax in natural settings. This includes where they eat and sleep on vacation. Think about it; Lao people and international tourists have different preferences. Many Lao people like air- conditioning and don’t mind cold baths. Tourists prefer ceiling fans and hot showers. A tourist will not always pay more for an air conditioned room, but they will pay more for a large, clean room that is built in Lao style using natural materials like wood or bamboo.This is good news for the Lao investor because it is cheaper to build in wood and bamboo than with cement or brick. If you have a good design and location, a tourist will pay more money to stay in an ecolodge. With good management, an ecolodge will allow you to make more money with a smaller investment. In Thailand and Malaysia, there are many examples of ecolodges that make a lot of money. In Laos, we can do better, if we remember to think about building and managing ecolodges the way tourists like them.

                 

Traditional houses from Laos.



6 DESIGNING AND BUILDING AN ECOLODGE IN THE LAO PDR SUGGESTIONS FOR LOCAL INVESTORS

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