The ‘Bamboo Lounge’ cafe in Laos is looking for some help to keep them financially viable over the tourist low season.

Visited Luang Namtha a long time ago, and went on a trek there. I remember the night markets being very nice, and it otherwise being a very quiet town. I remember they had a very simple museum with some old artifacts. It’s definitely somewhere I would like to return to.

Having a look at the campaign I’m quite intrigued what Laos is like seven years after I first visited, and the challenges of running a business there. They included some figures in their campaign and it seems that the total running costs are $24,370 for the four months of the off season. The revenue during this time is only $10,000, with my estimates being only $100 in sales a day at the slowest periods. This results in a net loss of $15,000, which they say they don’t make enough to cover in the high season.

It seems like this business is really struggling with the drop off in tourism as impacted by the political instability in Thailand, a gateway to visiting the country. It must be the same of any individuals whose livelihoods rely on tourism.

I think this example shows the challenges of starting a business in Laos, and building a sustainable business. Like anywhere, the restaurant business is difficult, but one reliant on tourism is also heavily dependent on the political stability in Laos and its neighbours. I admire and wish luck to those trying to succeed.