Luang Prabang honoured in regional awards scheme
The Unique Tour offered to visitors to Luang Prabang was awarded a special prize on Wednesday by the Asean-Japan Centre at a ceremony held in Japan.
An official at the centre, Ms Junko Nukiyama, reported yesterday via social media that Laos was one of the winners chosen from among Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to receive the award under the Mekong Tourism Award 2016, arranged by the Asean-Japan Centre.
She said the centre had selected five outstanding tour products offered in the four countries as the winners of the Mekong Tourism Award 2016.
The categories comprised New Destination, Ecotourism, Unique Tour, Exchange Programme and Jury's Special Award, aiming to highlight the Visit ASEAN@50 that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Asean and to promote tourism in the region in 2017.
The five tour products were chosen by the centre's judging committee, which was composed of members of the Japan Association of Travel Agents, Overseas Tour Operators Association of Japan, and Asean-Japan Centre.
The Unique Tour award was given for a seven-day tour of Lao traditional textile centres and the World Heritage City of Luang Prabang.
The award presentation ceremony took place in Tokyo on March 8 and was attended by travel agencies that entered the award competition, Vice Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency Mr Kawarabayashi, and embassy representatives from the four countries.
This year, among the five awards, two New Destination Awards, one Unique Tour Award, one Exchange Programme Award and one Jury's Special Award were selected. No ecotourism award was given.
Luang Prabang is considered the top tourist destination in Laos, with 83 percent of visitors citing it as their first choice, followed by Vientiane.
Tourists generally visit temples, admire the architecture, make trips to waterfalls and caves, and observe the lifestyle of local people while enjoying a wide range of local and international cuisines.
The province has regularly been voted as ‘Best City' by readers of the UK's Wanderlust travel magazine. Luang Prabang has received the award on seven occasions, in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.
The Mekong Tourism Award 2015 also selected Laos' world heritage sites of Luang Prabang and Vat Phou Champassak as award winners last year.
By Souknilundon Southivongnorath
(Latest Update March 10, 2017)