Source: Vientiane Times
Vientiane province’s Vangvieng district will officially be declared a tourism town in 2020 in terms of natural and cultural attractions, as part of the government’s efforts to promote the tourism industry.
Tourism officials say the government needs to meet 108 requirements before Vangvieng can be designated a tourism town.
Deputy Head of the Vangvieng district office for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Phouvieng Sykaysone, told Vientiane Times on Thursday that authorities are starting to prepare for the town’s upgrade.
“Some of the main requirements that we have to fufill relate to the provision of good quality services, cleanliness, infrastructure development, facility improvement, provision of hygienic food and so on,” Mr Phouvieng said.
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“We have held meetings with hotel and restaurant owners to circulate information about the requirements and to discuss ways they can improve their services for tourists.”
Business operators have been informed about the advantages and benefits of improving services and developing Vangvieng into a new tourism town.
In addition, district authorities are collecting information on the tourism industry before meetings can be held with provincial authorities and the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism to discuss the preparations needed.
Vangvieng is already a top tourist destination, but many aspects are in need of improvement, particularly road access to visitor attractions, cleanliness, services, and tourism-related facilities.
“When we officially declare Vangvieng as a new tourism town, many more people around the world will get to know about it and the profile of our country will be enhanced,” Mr Phouvieng said. Deputy Prime
Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone visited Vangvieng district this week and instructed local authorities to pay more attention to tourism development.
The Deputy PM told authorities the railway connecting Vientiane to the Chinese border and planned expressway would pass through Vangvieng. When the railway and expressway are complete, many more people will come to Vangvieng so preparations for a tourist boom are essential.
Vangvieng is surrounded by majestic scenery amid an impressive range of karst outcrops. Its main feature is the tranquil Xong River that runs through the centre, and the surrounding bucolic landscape. Many people take holidays here to explore caves, with a plunge into limpid river pools a must on a hot day.
Younger travellers like to float down the river in large inner tubes or rent a kayak. Other activities include mountain biking, zip-lining, swimming and enjoying a nice meal at one of the restaurants on the riverbank.
According to a district report, over 10,000 tourists visit Vangvieng every month, with Koreans accounting for 70 percent, along with Chinese, Lao and visitors from further afield.
Vangvieng currently has more than 40 officially designated tourist attractions, of which 30 are open to visitors.