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Luang Prabang hotels almost full over New Year

Jan 01. 2016
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By Vientiane Times

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Hotels and guesthouses in the town of Luang Prabang are nearly fully booked with domestic and foreign tourists choosing this heritage and romantic location to celebrate the New Year.

But there are still some rooms available both in the town centre and the outskirts over the days of December 30 and 31, Vice President of the Luang Prabang Hotel and Resort Association, Mr Daophet Phouphaphan told Vientiane Times yesterday.

The number of people visiting Luang Prabang has continued to increase and tourists from all over the world come here to see the many ancient temples and monasteries.

Other attractions are the Kuang Xi Waterfall, Phousy Hill and Buddha Cave, all of which are popular with visitors.

According to the provincial Tourism Office, in 2013 the number of overseas visitors to Luang Prabang reached 343,000 people, increasing to 370,000 in 2014.

Over the first six months of this fiscal year, Luang Prabang province welcomed more than 300,000 tourists with the figure expected to hit 500,000 people for the whole year.

Thailand supplies nearly half of all visitors, but a large number of Chinese have visited the province this year, Mr Daophet added. However, the number of Lao people visiting Luang Prabang appears to be on the wane as locals turn instead to destinations like Malaysia, the Republic of Korea and Thailand.

This may be because Lao people are enjoying increasing wealth and can afford to travel further afield, Mr Daophet said.

Earlier this month, Luang Prabang marked the 20th anniversary of the town's listing by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, which was grandly celebrated.

The province also staged the Luang Prabang Film Festival this month, which featured 30 films from Asean countries, including several Lao productions.

The town was awarded a gold medal after being voted World Top City by readers of the British magazine Wanderlust in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. Guesthouses, hotels and restaurants in Luang Prabang are mushrooming in response to the surge in visitors from around the world.

This means more jobs for local people and provides more revenue for the town and the province.

Another popular tourist spot not far away, the riverside town of Vangvieng in Vientiane province, hotels and guesthouses are also close to being fully booked, according to a local hotelier.

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