International Consultant/Expert on Tourism Development to Support the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism in the Development of Tourism Recovery Strategy to COVID-19 in Lao PDR


Location : Vientiane or Home-Based, LAO PDR
Application Deadline :25-Oct-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Climate & Disaster Resilience
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
30-Oct-2020
Duration of Initial Contract :16 working days
Expected Duration of Assignment :October - November 2020, or as early as possible

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

Tourism has become a key sector to the Lao economy in the last decade with direct revenue increasing more than twofold from US$380 million in 2010 to over US$800 million in 2018 (Lao Tourism Report 2018). Tourism contributes directly to income generation of the locals, employment opportunities, and foreign exchange earnings to the country. In 2019, tourism accounted for 4.6% of GDP and 13% of total employment. The number of tourist arrivals increased by 14.4% from the previous year with a total of about 4.8 million visitors and estimated direct revenue of over US$900 million in 2019.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been causing devastating global socio-economic consequences and visibly crippled the tourism industry as countries implemented strict and ranging measures to counter the spread of the virus around the world. According to World Tourism Organization 2020 report, the potential global impacts could range between an estimated 60-80% decline in international arrivals, amounting to losses of between of US$910 billion to US$1.2 trillion in export revenues from tourism worldwide.
The Government of Lao PDR has also taken swift action to counter the virus spread. On March 10, the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism made an announcement on
suspension and postponement of visitors from risky countries. On March 29, Prime Minister issued an Order on reinforcement measures on containment, prevention and full response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, while Lao PDR has so far largely managed to escape a health crisis, with only 23 cases and zero deaths (as of 30 September), tourism is one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic.
As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, all tourism businesses across the country have been directly affected, including 637 hotels, 2,283 guesthouses and resorts, 55,541 rooms across the country, 539 travel agents, 36 branches of travel agents, 809 tourist sites, as well as other tourism-related supply chain. The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MoICT) found that the number of international arrivals to Lao PDR in the first two quarters has declined from 2,228,459 visitors in 2019 to 886,447 visitors in 2020, or a decrease of 60% compared to the same period. In addition, most of tourism businesses have reduced the number of employees to the minimum in order to reduce the cost of companies’ operation and to help companies to survive from this difficult time.
MoICT has taken an initiative to conduct COVID-19 impact assessment report on tourism industry in Lao PDR. The assessment has identified key potential policy responses for a recovery plan for the country to undertake moving forward. However, the assessment was conducted under the uncertainty of COVID-19 based on the information available until July 2020, and the situation has now changed significantly and there is a need for the Lao tourism industry to reassess the situation and that policy recommendations will also need to be revisited. Therefore, this assignment will aim to provide updates to the draft developed by the ministry and develop it into a more comprehensive response and recovery strategy for tourism in Lao PDR. More importantly, it will provide a crucial background document for the development of the next Lao PDR’s five-year Tourism Development Plan 2021-2025.
As part of Socio-Economic Recovery Framework of the UN Lao PDR Country team, UNDP is collaborating with MoICT to further investigate the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism industry, to develop recovery plan for the short, medium, and long terms. This will also include investigating the impact related sectors such as transportation, handicrafts, agriculture, and related industries. This will add to the existing work already done by the Department of Tourism Development of the MoICT on recovery and response efforts to COVID-19 in Lao PDR.
Under this collaboration, UNDP will provide technical assistance to support the Ministry and contribute directly to inform the development of tourism development plan through the recruitment of tourism expert, consultation workshop, and publication of the final report in both Lao and English. Finally, the aim of this collaboration is to provide development partners with informed policy options to offer their support to help the tourism industry in Lao PDR weather the crisis and “build back better”.


Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work
In order to support the Ministry in the preparation of the next five-year sectoral plan as well as strategic responses to mitigate the impact of COVID19 to tourism industry in Lao PDR, UNDP is seeking a Tourism Expert to review the COVID-19 Assessment Report (the Report) and reassess the impact of COVID-19 on tourism in Lao PDR by providing more up to date data and information. The scope of the assignment will be to carry out the following exercises with the objectives to improve quality of initial report prepared by Department of Tourism Development Department. The Consultant will be required to:
• Provide an update to the Report on the estimated impact of COVID-19 for period of July-December 2020, and impact on tourism-related supply chains;
• Review how tourism in other countries, particularly in Southeast Asian region, are affected by COVID-19 and good practices on recovery and response plan adopted and implemented in other countries;
• Identify the potential opportunities and policy support to promote domestic tourism (Lao visit Laos or Lao Thiao Lao) to help tourism in Lao PDR cope with ongoing crisis and prepare for post-crisis recovery, highlighting key recommendations for supporting domestic tourism industry, including the possibility of introducing “travel bubble”, and the potential of sustainable tourism programme such as eco-tourism or green tourism;
• Work together with MoICT to devise a strategic plan with short-term, medium-term, and long-term activities and strategies that the Government of Lao PDR, private sector, and development partners can work together more effectively to speed up recovery process. The plan must provide strategic guidance on the involvement of stakeholders in the tourism industry of the Lao PDR, through both technical and financial supports to implement the recovery plan; and
• Consult and draw key policy recommendations from relevant sources where appropriate, including but not limited to, Socio-Economic Recovery Framework of the UN Lao PDR, UNDP Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 in Lao PDR, ADB’s Impact of COVID-19 on Tourism Enterprises in the Lao PDR, and World Bank’s Synthesis Report on Developing Nature-Based Tourism as a Strategic Sector for Green Growth in Lao PDR.
• Present initial findings and recommendations based on reviews of all documents and updated data and information during stakeholder consultation workshops, collect feedbacks and suggestions and then incorporate into the final document.


Competencies

  • An industry expert with a good understanding of the local economy in Lao PDR, work with government, and who can draw international best practice and policy recommendations;
  • Experience in providing policy advices on tourism industry in Southeast Asia region or policy response to crises will be highly advantageous;
  • Fluency in English required, a good working knowledge of Lao is desirable.


Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced university degree in economics, business administration, public policy, tourism and hospitality development, or any other relevant fields.
  • At least 10 years of experience in providing consultancy services on tourism development plan and strategy, particularly in developing countries;
  • Previous experience in providing advisory support on tourism development in Lao PDR and is knowledgeable about the nature of both the regional and international tourism industry.

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualification:

  1. Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided in Annex III
  2. Personal CV or P11 Form, indicating all experience from similar projects as well as personal information including age.
  3. Technical proposal (maximum 3 pages), including a) a brief description of why the individual considers her/himself as the most suitable for the assignment; and b) methodology on how s/he will approach and complete the assignment.
  4. Financial proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided, as per template provided in Annex III

OFFEROR’S LETTER  Price proposal could be quoted in US Dollar.

Incomplete proposals may not be considered.

Instructions for on-line submissions

Step 1:  Please prepare all required documents electronically;

Step 2: Combine all documents in ONE SINGLE FILE (preferably in PDF however Word format can be also accepted) and upload to the UNDP Jobs links

Step 3: After that you will receive an auto reply from the UNDP jobs if your offer is received successfully.

Relevant Documents for Individual Contract

IC contract template  &  IC General Terms and Conditions _ Annex II

For more information, please visit our website under the link below

https://www.la.undp.org/content/lao_pdr/en/home/jobs.html



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