Source: Vientiane Times
A Chinese developer plans to invest US$80 million to construct a water theme park next year at the That Luang Marsh Specific Economic Zone in Vientiane to attract domestic and foreign tourists.
The concept is to capture a slice of the increasing foreign visitor market to Laos while enticing domestic tourists and discourage them from travelling to neighbouring countries for their holidays, Chinese developer Mr Wan Feng of Wan Feng Shanghai Real Estate Company told President of the National Assembly Pany Yathotou and government officials on a recent visit to the site.
The number of foreign visitors to Laos has increased from two million people in 2009 to almost 4.7 million people in 2015 and was expected to reach 5.1 million people this year, according to the Department of Tourism Development.
The developer also plans to build an international trade exhibition centre involving hotels, guesthouses, conference rooms, restaurants, entertainment venues and other facilities that will be able to host regional and international standard events.
Following their completion, the developer will cooperate with government organisations to organise a variety of trade fairs to draw visitors.
The development will feature promenades and dining and retail outlets featuring handicrafts and souvenirs.
Other construction will involve completing facilities for the condominium towers, improvements to roads and lighting around the lake, and the creation of green spaces.
Mr Wan Feng commended the government and local authorities for the good cooperation the project has received over the last four years.
The developer has decided to increase its overall investment capital from US$1.6 billion to US$5 billion with millions of dollars having been spent on building infrastructure, facilities and condos at the zone.
The Chinese developer is encouraging other companies to operate businesses in the zone.
The That Luang Marsh SEZ began operating in 2012, on an area of 365 hectares. The government intended to promote the development of this project as a model for SEZ development in Laos, aiming to attract more foreign investment.
Wan Feng Shanghai Real Estate Company has said it expects to spend between 15 to 20 years working on the project.
When finished, the project will include a large residential area, public parks and green spaces, a lake, hospitals, education centre, restaurants, a sports complex and a commercial centre. There will also be five-star hotels, shopping centres and entertainment venues.
The developer’s original aim was to turn That Luang Marsh into a liveable town with an environmentally friendly atmosphere.