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Vangvieng Takes Steps To Address Complaints Around Overpricing

Source: Vientiane Times

Authorities in Vangvieng district, Vientiane province, are working with government bodies and local businesses to improve standards at restaurants and hotels as well as make sure tourists are not overcharged.

As tourists return to Laos, with many coming from Thailand, there have been complaints about the high prices charged at some hotels, guesthouses and restaurants.

Members of the public have called on tourism officials to tackle the problem and ensure that foreign visitors enjoy their stay and are satisfied with the standard of services they receive in Laos.

As the complaints mount and the image of Vangvieng comes under scrutiny, district Governor Mr Bounchanh Malavong said local authorities accept that there are difficulties and will discuss the matter with the Tourism Management Department of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, in the hope of resolving the problem.

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In the meantime, the owners and managers of restaurants, guesthouses and hotels have been asked to listen to tourists’ complaints and take steps to improve their services.

Mr Bounchanh said district authorities have advised service providers to charge fair prices and maintain the town’s reputation as a desirable holiday hotspot for both locals and foreigners.

If restaurants and hotels continue to charge inflated prices, they will be threatened with cancellation of their business licence, he said.

The President of the Lao Hotel and Restaurant Association, Mr Pakasith Chanthapanya, told Vientiane Times the association is asking the owners of hotels, guesthouses and restaurants to teach new staff to be professional and courteous when dealing with foreign tourists, and is encouraging close supervision of their work.

Vangvieng is about 150km from Vientiane by road. Its craggy limestone outcrops and the river provide visitors with a wide range of fun activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, tubing, and boating. There are also zip-lines and the enticing Chang and Poukham caves, while the clear mountain water creates lagoons and the Kaeng Nyui waterfall for swimming opportunities.