Vientiane braces for flood of visitors during 25th SEA Games

Posted by samakomlao Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thousands of Thai tourists will cross the Mekong River to cheer on their athletes at the 25th SEA Games in Vientiane .

Representatives of travel agents from the Thai provinces of Nong Khai and Udon Thani paid a courtesy visit to Vice President of the Lao National Tourism Administration (LNTA) Mr Sila Mounthalavong in Vientiane on Tuesday to discuss arrangements for the expected influx of Thai tourists.

Udon Thani and Nong Khai are major gateways to Vientiane .

The Thai travel agents also held discussions with their Lao counterparts to arrange measures aimed at facilitating a pleasurable stay for Thai tourists, including guided tours, transport arrangements, and booking of tickets, hotels and restaurants during the event.

According to the LNTA, large groups of Vietnamese tourists are also expected in Vientiane during the games.

Mr Sila said Vientiane offers a warm welcome to all visitors during the sporting event.

He said there are sufficient hotels and guesthouses to accommodate more than 11,000 people and the LNTA has asked hospitality businesses in the areas surrounding Vientiane to prepare for more visitors.

“We expect that after the games many will want to spend some time somewhere like Vangvieng district in Vientiane province where they can enjoy some beautiful natural scenery,” he said.

Mr Sila said the LNTA has held discussions with hospitality businesses to ensure they maintain reasonable service charges during the games in an effort to lure tourists back for a second visit in the future.

He called on Vientiane and Nong Khai travel agents to continue cooperation efforts in the future to boost tourism in the neighbouring provinces.

He said Vientiane is not only the capital of Laos but also a gateway into Indochina as it has transport connections to major tourist destinations such as the World Heritage listed town of Luang Prabang, the Plain of Jars in Xieng Khuang province, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, Chiang Mai in Thailand and Siem Reap in Cambodia.

The tourism industry in Laos has increased rapidly in recent years due to rising visitor numbers and growing foreign investment in the country, he said.

Hotels in the major towns of Laos , such as Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Champassak, have top quality hotels offering tourists excellent services and hospitality.

By Times Reporters

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