Rooms still available for SEA Games visitors

Posted by samakomlao Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hotel rooms are still available for SEA Games fans and visitors who want to cheer for their sports stars, even though many hotels are close to being fully booked.

Many hotel owners in Vientiane told Vientiane Times yesterday their rooms were almost all reserved, while some said they were already full.

Vientiane is the main venue for the games' official delegates and sports fans coming to Laos for the SEA Games, which are scheduled from December 9-18.

Hotel, Guesthouse and Restaurant Association member Bouloud Viengviseth said rooms in about 70 percent of hotels that are members of the association have been booked by official delegates.

Being tasked to host official delegates means these hotels are almost fully booked, he said, adding that the association has more than 40 member hotels and another 40 member guesthouses.

The capital has 118 hotels with 4,207 rooms, including 898 rooms that have been reserved for official delegates from foreign countries, according to the Vientiane Tourism Department.

However, hotel rooms to be reserved for Lao delegates have yet to be confirmed, said a department official.

Vientiane also has 184 guesthouses with 2,750 rooms, which can accommodate up to 4,000 people. However, many of these rooms have already been reserved.

Both hotels and guesthouses can accommodate about 10,000 guests, including those rooms already reserved for some 1,255 official delegates.

The tourism official was unable to say what percentage of this accommodation had already been booked as individuals have booked through many channels, so the information could not be collated.

“We don't know the exact number of visitors who have booked so far. Some booked through travel agencies,” the official said.

Many people also booked by themselves on the Internet or by telephone.

The Lao National Tourism Administration estimates that about 60,000 tourists will come to Vientiane throughout December, including those passing through on their way to the provinces.

Though the number of visitors to the capital during the games might exceed the available accommodation, the administration's Vice President, Mr Sila Mounthalavong, believed Vientiane will be able to cope.

H e said many visitors might stay only for a few days, while some will just pass through and travel to other provinces.

Lao Association for Tr avel Agents President, Mr Bouakhao Phomsouvanh, said several thousand tourists from Asean nations are in or on their way to Vientiane for the regional sporting event.

Officials said many SEA Games visitors would stay with relatives during their time in Laos .

By Souksakhone Vaenkeo

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