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Luang Prabang City Receives Asean Clean Tourism Award

Source: Vientiane Times

Luang Prabang city has received a second Asean Clean Tourism Standard award following an assessment of compliance with Asean tourism standards.

The award was given to the Tourism Development Department of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, and presented by the Minister, Mrs Suanesavanh Vignaket, to the Governor of Luang Prabang city Mr Viengthong Hatsachan last week.

Luang Prabang city was assessed for the award in 2021 and judged to have achieved almost 93 percent of the criteria set under Asean clean tourism standards.

Provincial authorities have worked with businesses and local residents to ensure Luang Prabang maintains accepted standards of cleanliness and is a worthy destination for visitors after receiving its first Asean Clean Tourism Standard award in 2020.

The overall quality of services has also been improved to boost visitor satisfaction.

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The main objective of the standards is to improve the quality of community-based tourism, which is seen as important for the development of tourism and increasing the number of visitors.

To receive an Asean clean tourism district standard award, a district must be able to show good standards of cleanliness at hotels, guesthouses and restaurants.

Visitor attractions must also be clean and in good condition, and local residents must participate in the provision of services, according to the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.

Tad Kuang Xi waterfall, also in Luang Prabang province, recently received an Asean Sustainable Tourism Award (ASTA) which Mrs Suanesavanh presented to the Head of the Luang Prabang Information, Culture and Tourism Department, Dr Soudaphone Khomthavong.

The ASTA award aims to inspire tourism authorities in Asean countries to develop tourism products, address environmental and economic issues caused by the rapid growth of tourism, and improve tourism products and services to meet Asean standards.

The theme for the 3rd ASTA this year was “safe tourism”, which focused on ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19 while also providing safe services.

Luang Prabang province authorities made changes to tourism activities at Tad Kuang Xi waterfall such as providing items to prevent the spread of Covid, and encouraging vendors to package food in banana leaves rather than unbiodegradable materials.

Businesses operating in the vicinity of the waterfall were instructed to adopt virus prevention measures, while various facilities at the waterfall were upgraded, according to the Luang Prabang provincial Information, Culture and Tourism Department.

The city’s old quarter was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1995 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), which determined that its architecture was culturally significant and worthy of protection by the United Nations.

Popular tourist attractions in Luang Prabang city include the Phu Si stupa, Xieng Thong temple, Sae waterfall, Kuang Xi waterfall and the night market.