Pheun Than Heng A Sip Training Programme

The tourism and hospitality sector in Lao PDR has expanded rapidly in recent years and the trend is set to continue. Tourism and hospitality services often drive revenues for micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs), particularly in rural areas, which in turn can provide the livelihood for people from poor backgrounds. However, often MSMEs are not able to attract and retain customers due to low service quality; and many job-seekers, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, lack the necessary skills to break into the sector. This prevents MSMEs and disadvantaged job-seekers from benefitting from the potential of the growing tourism and hospitality sector in the country.

Project duration
2017 - 2021
Financed by
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC
  • Government of Lao PDR
  • Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

The project

The Pheun Than Heng A Sip (PTHAS) Training Programme includes over 120 training units, each tailor-made to address the issue of low service quality in tourism and hospitality businesses. Swisscontact originally developed the programme in partnership with the Lao National Institute for Tourism and Hospitality (LANITH), and piloted it in Champasak Province with the Department of Information Culture and Tourism (DICT), and the Champasak Hotel and Restaurant Association (CHRA), under a previous project from 2013 to 2016.

Under the new initiative the PTHAS will be expanded into eight southern and central provinces beyond Champasak and also form the basis of a new industry training programme which will prepare people from disadvantaged backgrounds to access to employment opportunities. The PTHAS Training Programme into has been made possible under the wider Skills for Tourism Project (LAO/029) which is financially supported by the Governments of Lao PDR, Switzerland and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sports of Lao PDR and the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency (LuxDev).

Project partner

  • Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (LANITH)
  • Provincial Hotel and Restaurant Associations


Expected Results:

  • Upskill 500 staff members of existing tourism and hospitality MSMEs
  • Train 500 people from a disadvantaged background and support them into employment in the tourism and hospitality sector
  • Support 36 national trainers to achieve the ASEAN trainers and assessors’ standard



Module 4 - Tour Management


Sustainable tourism, Initial vocational education and training
The Employment Support for Diploma Graduates (ESDG) Closing Event on October 18, 2022
Swisscontact held a closing event for the Employment Support for Diploma Graduates (ESDG) activities on October 18, 2022, in Lao Plaza Hotel, Vientiane Capital. In attendance were representatives from the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), Mr. Saiykham Phanthavong, Deputy Director of the Department of Vocational Education and Training (DVET), participating technical colleges (Pakpasak and the Technical College of Vientiane Province), Mr. Lee Sheridan from Lao/029 Skills for Tourism Project (LuxDev). Mr. Michael Fink, Country Director of Swisscontact Lao PDR, and over 19 local and international stakeholders.
Labour market insertion
Phiala’s Journey - Hospitality training in Laos
For Phiala Shaecao, a young woman from a farming family in the rural village of Somsavath, thirty kilometres outside of Vangvieng, a tourist-oriented town about four hours north of Lao PDR’s capital, the idea of being employed by a hotel seemed far-fetched.