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Services by Sector: Recreational, Cultural and Sporting Services


Background Information

The WTO classifies Recreational, Culture and Sport Services, as services other than audiovisual services, which include:

  • Entertainment services (including theatre, live bands and circus services);
  • News agency services;
  • Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural services;
  • Sporting and other recreational services; and
  • Other.

In Lao PDR, this services sector is closely related to the tourism services, given the areas of focus, which interplay with each other; accordingly, there is a close nexus between the two.

In an effort to further develop key areas of this sector, the Government of Lao PDR developed an Education and Sports Sector Development Plan, which has as one of its areas of focus, the improvement and development of sport and physical activity in an effort to increase the health of Lao PDR residents, foster a greater love and appreciation for sport and contribute to the human resource development of the nation. [1]The focus of the Education and Sports Sector Development Plan aptly places its focus on the development of the sporting industry, by focusing among other things on workforce development, which will directly contribute to the enhancement of the sporting sector end product and outputs.  In an effort however to position Lao PDR as a nation that can market itself on sport tourism and other recreational activities, there must also be a focus on the development of the requisite supporting infrastructural arrangements to complement efforts and investment in workforce development, skills training and human resource development.

The Government of Lao PDR remains committed to ensuring that sporting opportunities are equitably distributed and that citizens of Lao PDR can capitalize on regional and international opportunities which present themselves.

Specific to culture in Lao PDR, this presents the most direct link to tourism, as cultural tourism represents one of the areas of focus in the Lao PDR Tourism Strategy 2006 -2020.[2]  In an effort to develop this niche area, as stated in the Tourism Strategy, the government of Lao PDR is committed to the development, promotion and implementation of cultural, natural and historical tourism in an effort to foster the growth in tourism and other service sectors.  This is complemented by efforts to develop physical infrastructure, including the construction of roads linking various regions of Lao PDR. 

The general policy thrust of Lao PDR in relation to cultural promotion, development and strengthening focuses on:

  • Preserving and revitalizing cultural heritage by integrating vernacular cultures - folk tales and folk songs, handicrafts and art, museums and archaeological sites - into every day life;
  • Workforce development and human resource capacity building in the field of culture and education;
  • Cultivating a greater appreciation for cultural services; and
  • stimulating creativity.[3]

This therefore necessitates:

  • the building and improving facilities and infrastructure;
  • esthetic education;
  • promoting creativity among artists; and
  • reviving cultural industries.

The Government of Lao PDR continues to focus on the development of these areas, bearing in mind their socio-economic development priorities and areas of transformational growth.


I. Legal and Regulatory Environment of the Recreational, Culture and Sport Services Sector

The legal and regulatory environment of the recreational, culture and sport services sector comprises institutional and legal frameworks, which seek to regulate the services provided.

II. Key Institutions in the Recreational, Culture and Sport Services Sector

Key Institutions which develop and regulate the recreational, culture and sport services sector include the following main Line Ministries:

  • Ministry of Educations and Sports;
  • Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism;
  • Heritage Administration Authority;
  • The Divisions of Information and Culture of Provinces, Cities;
  • The Offices of Information and Culture of Districts, Municipalities; and
  • The Village Administration.

Other Ministries, which influence this services sector, are noted to be:

  • Ministry of Industry and Commerce; and
  • Ministry of Planning and Investment.

III. Legislation (Laws and Regulations) governing the Recreational, Culture and Sports Services Sector include:

Relevant legislations which impact the recreational, culture and sports services sector include:






Law on Sport and Physical Activities (Amended) 15/NA






Education and Sports Sector Development Plan, 2016 - 2020

Law on Tourism (Amended) 32/NA

Decree on museum 159/PR

Decision on Management of Restaurant and Café 059/LTA

Lao PDR tourism strategy 2006 - 2020

Law on the Media 01/NA

Decree on Activities of Foreign Media in Lao PDR



Law on Publishing 05/NA




Law on Library 012/NA




Law on National Heritage (Amended) 44/NA

Decree of the president of the Lao PDR on the reservation of cultural, historical and natural heritage 03/PR

Decision on Hotel & Guesthouse Classification Regulation 060/LTA


Decision on the Management of Ticketing Agencies and Air Travel Agencies 2526/MPWT