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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Increasing tourism stimulates Oudomxay

Increasing numbers of tourists in Oudomxay province have prompted local and foreign businesses to compete to invest in hospitality, according to the provincial tourism department.

“Most of the businesses invest in constructing hotels and guesthouses to service the influx of tourists coming to the province,” the Oudomxay Tourism Department Director, Mr Sivanh Bounsavath, exp lained yesterday.

He said most hotels were three-star hotels, including one currently under construction by a Malaysian developer. Various styles of guesthouses are being built in Pakbaeng and Meuang Xay districts.

The tourism department reported that 60,000 tourists visited Pakbaeng district between October 2007 and March 2008.

“It was an almost 100 percent increase on the same six-month period last year. January to March each year is the high season for tourism here,” Mr Sivanh said.

Mr Sivanh said most tourists wanted to experience the natural features of the area, including various caves and waterfalls. Equally popular is trekking to visit ethnic villages and observe their culture. There is also a graveyard with graves as old as 1,000 years.

“Most of these tourists are from European countries, including France , Germany and England ,” said the Pakbaeng district Head of Office, Mr Inpaeng Panyathong. The district boasts the largest amount of tourist attractions in the province, he added.

He said tourists usually spent at least two days in the district, generating more than US$4 million in tourist revenue over the six-month period.

Mr Inpaeng said local people had discovered the two biggest chilli trees in the Mokpho were an extra attraction for many tourists. In addition, the tea grown in the area is the best in the province and has attracted investment from foreign businesses.

Mr Sivanh said many people in the province had given up traditional shifting cultivation.

“The arduous slash and burn agriculture has given way to new employment opportunities in the tourist industry,” he said.

Both Mr Sivanh and Mr Inpaeng urged local and foreign visitors to travel to Oudomxay province to see the lifestyles of the different ethnic groups, their handicrafts and the natural beauty of the region.

“Oudomxay holds its own fascination for tourists,” Mr Sivanh said.

By Souknilundon Southivongnorath
(Latest Update April 24, 2008)

1 comment:

Tealover said...

Hello Souknilundon Southivongnorath, I am a writer about tea and coffee and would like to visit any tea gardens or tea factories you have in your district. Please let me know by email. I live in Chiangmai, Thailand, and plan to arrive in Lao 15-20 May, 2009. Thank you!