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More Domestic Tourists Rush To Vangvieng Amid Covid-19 Restrictions

Source: Vientiane Times

Tourists from Vientiane and other nearby provinces are rushing to Vangvieng district for a short break despite the suspension of the Vangvieng Music Festival to curb the spread  of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The overall atmosphere in this tourist attraction is still charming and it continues to attract domestic visitors, mainly from neighbouring areas.

The Head of the Vangvieng Information, Culture and Tourism Office, Mr Atsayasay Manivanh, told Vientiane Times on Monday that the ban on this year’s music festival has had an impact on the services sector, especially after the cancellation of bookings at hotels and restaurants.

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“The environment in this small town has become livelier after the inauguration of the Vientiane-Vangvieng Expressway, and most of the visitors are from Vientiane and nearby provinces,” he said.

He explained that the Vangvieng Music Festival was suspended in line with instructions from the Prime Minister’s Office to prevent the spread of Coronavirus infections.

Mr Atsayasay said 2019 was a golden year for the tourism sector in Vientiane province because domestic and international visitors thronged to Vangvieng at a time when they didn’t have to worry about problems such as the pandemic.

“The district authorities will continue to work in collaboration with the private sector to seek ways to promote tourism alongside
the implementation of the preventive measures,” he said.

The Manager of Laos Haven Hotel and Spa in Vangvieng, Ms Suparom Tangpaiboon, said  the situation with regard to hotel bookings was getting better due to the upcoming New Year celebrations.

“More expats and local visitors have confirmed hotel bookings for their New Year holidays but the recent suspension of the Vangvieng Music Festival created a painful experience for the hospitality sector, because most of our clients cancelled their bookings,” she said.

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She said many customers were unable to claim refunds from hotels, and some hoteliers returned 50 percent of room fees. Some customers were compensated with alternative free service on other occasions.

The rapid spread of the pandemic has had a negative impact on the global economy, and the Lao government is working in collaboration with international partners to fight the spread of the virus and restore the economy through the promotion of domestic goods and services.