Cultural sites to be promotion focus in Savannakhet province
The stupas of That Inhang and That Phonh will be key targets for tourism promotion in Savannakhet province for the upcoming Visit Laos Year 2018.
A pro vincial tourism official revealed the plan while speaking to Vientiane Times yesterday about the preparations being made by the local authorities for tourism promotion during nationwide events.
The province's Department of Information, Culture and Tourism's Mr Siha Phannavong said the two historical-cultural sites were the most attractive to visitors in the province.
That Phonh in Xayphouthong district is proving particularly popular.
According to Mr Siha, numerous people visited That Phonh every day, especially on the eighth, fifteenth, twenty ninth or thirtieth days of the lunar calendar.
Such visits have brought around 200 million kip in income to the province per month, he said.
People visited That Phonh stupa for worship, merit making and related religious ceremonies.
Lao and Thai visitors made up the majority of those coming to the site. Mr Siha said the popularity of the That Phonh stupa was increasing based on the widespread belief of its sacredness.
Around one million foreign tourists were recorded entering the province annually in recent years, with the number being around 800,000 last year.
The number was calculated from the records made at the three international checkpoints: the Second Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge, the Savan-Lao Bao, and the Savannakhet International Airport.
According to the official, each foreign tourist generated around US$40 in income to the province.
Mr Siha said it would be true that the province was recognised as east-west corridor tourism passing way, with Thai tourists having their final destination in Vietnam.
Admitted there were a few natural tourist attractions as it is geographically flatland, plus some mountainous areas.
“Despite the province having waterfalls or other nature-based tourism sites, we could not include the dispersed sites into a reasonable tourism programme because they are far away from each other in the province, which has large area,” Mr Siha said.
However, he said, the authority would not give up in maintaining and developing the existing potential of the sector in the province. Some other focuses of promotion will be tourism activities around old French architecture and the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Mr Siha noted despite the province was not as popular as others when it came to tourism.
However, the development of attractions, improvement of services through improvement of personnel and infrastructure standards, tourism management would be a high priority of the local authorities.
The province will seek to attract three four-star hotels or more to the province in the upcoming years, he said.
By Somxay Sengdara
(Latest Update March 07, 2017)