Tourism potential as yet unfulfilled in Bolaven Plateau
The Bolaven Plateau in the south of Laos will be developed into the country's top agri-business and agri-tourism destination thanks to its year round temperate climate.
The Bolaven Plateau runs through Champassak province's Pakxong district, Saravan province's Lao-ngam, and Xekong province's Thataeng district and boasts a wealth of scenic beauty.
|The Bolaven Plateau in Pakxong district, Champassak province. -- Photo Phoonsab
Director of the Champassak provincial Information, Culture and Tourism Department, Mr Somchay Ounchith, told Vientiane Times on Friday that tourism developments had been proposed at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism's annual two-day meeting last week.
Before the proposal was submitted, the Prime Minister's Office asked nine ministries cooperating with Vietnam to make the relevant preparations for the plateau's development.
According to the PM's Office, one of the nine ministries that will be jointly working on the development of the Bolaven Plateau is the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.
“Former President Khamtay Siphandone told Saravan provincial authorities that when he was prime minister a visiting Japanese delegation told him the income earned from this area would be able to feed people across the country if developments were done tastefully,” Mr Somchay said.
Some of the most scenic waterfalls in Champassak are the Nheuang, Fan, Phasuam, Nong Luang and Champee Nang Sida falls.
There are three more waterfalls of note in Saravan province, namely Lo, Hang and Xeset, and then there is the Sinouk Resort in Xekong province, which are all very popular with both local and foreign visitors.
Some Thai visitors have been known to say they don't need to go to Europe to enjoy a cool climate but can come to Pakxong district in Champassak province instead, where temperatures are relatively mild.
When visiting the province last year, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith advised officials to seek more investment from domestic and overseas sources for coffee and other farms on the Bolaven Plateau and other areas.
According to the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, more than 4.6 million foreign tourists visited Laos in 2015, generating more than US$725 million in income. Tourist arrivals numbered about 3.4 million from January to September 2015, while about 3.1 million foreigners visited Laos during the same nine months of last year.
Tourism was a priority sector for economic integration in Southeast Asia in 2015, and is an important component of the economy of Asean countries, especially Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Thailand.
By Khonesavanh Latsaphao
(Latest Update February 7, 2017)