Oudomxay eyes development of tourist sites
About 100 tourist sites in Oudomxay province await development so that visitors can fully enjoy them in comfort.
The Oudomxay Tourism Office says there are 106 officially designated tourist sites in the province.
An official at the office, Mr Van Mingboupha, told Vientiane Times on Friday the province is encouraging the private sector to assist in the development of tourism.
Lae waterfall in Oudomxay province is well worth a visit but road access is poor.
“So far about eight businesses have submitted proposals to the provincial Informational, Culture and Tourism Department with suggestions for the improvement of visitor attractions,” he said.
The province wants to develop its sightseeing potential in a bid to attract more investors and visitors, but funding is limited.
Last year, about 215,000 foreigners visited the province and mostly went to Nam Kat waterfall, Chom Ong cave, Singkham Buddha temple, and the provincial capital, Xay district.
There are many places worthy of visitors' attention, but road access deters many people and there are no restaurants at these sites.
In the middle of this year, the province hopes to open a properly surfaced 16km road leading to Chom Ong cave from the provincial capital.
According to the provincial Administration Office, Chinese visitors are steadily increasing in number at the province's main tourist destinations and Oudomxay is planning to attract another two million.
If this number of people were to visit Oudomxay from China's Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province, it is envisaged that Oudomxay's economy would grow rapidly.
Accommodation available in Xay district is sufficient to house more than two million visitors a year and there would be no problem supplying enough food.
There are almost 3,000 rooms in the capital's hotels and guesthouses, many of which are currently empty, Mr Van said.
People driving to the northern provinces of Luang Namtha, Bokeo and Phongsaly from Vientiane often stay overnight in Oudomxay to break the journey.
A road connecting to Phongsaly through China's Yunnan province offers a shortcut for motorists visiting Phongsaly, but not many people use this route yet.
Due to the number of trucks queuing at the Laos-China border in Luang Namtha province, many people prefer to drive to Phongsaly through Oudomxay instead.
By Khonesavanh Latsaphao
(Latest Update January 23, 2017)