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Xekong beefs up visitor services

Xekong provincial authorities are making additions and improvements to visitor attractions so they are easier to access and provide a more enjoyable tourist experience.

An official with the province’s Information, Culture and Tourism Department, Mr Bounthong Sidonekhong, told Vientiane Times yesterday that authorities were making intensive preparations to welcome the influx of visitors expected during Visit Laos-China Year 2019.
The authorities have sought loans from companies to improve access to Faek and Huakhon waterfalls by asphalting a 5km section of road, which has now been done. Authorities are also upgrading an 8km stretch of road leading to Faimai waterfall, so that it can be used in both the dry and wet seasons.
In addition, the province is working to improve services at hotels, guesthouses, and restaurants, and to build up the potential for agri-tourism based around a coffee plantation. Also in the pipeline are Chinese language information sheets for visitors, and local people are being encouraged to step up the production of One District, One Product (ODOP) goods. These include products made from Indian gooseberries and cotton, which can be sold to visitors, Mr Bounthong said.
Visitors to Xekong province should not miss Nokkhao, Faek and Huakhon waterfalls, and should definitely sample some of the local food including the tasty and refreshing yam mak taeng (cucumber salad).
Other provinces around the country are also preparing activities and facilities to welcome visitors this year.
Vangvieng district in Vientiane province has improved the quality of service, the price of food, and room rates at hotels and guesthouses, and made changes to the fees charged at tourist attractions.
In Luang Prabang province, restaurants will put Chinese dishes on their menus and will add Chinese language to signs at popular tourist sites. In Luang Namtha province, services at the border crossing have improved and officials will provide tourism information and suggestion to foreign tourists, especially those coming from China.
During Visit Laos Year 2018 more than 57,000 tourists visited Xekong, staying in the province’s 11 hotels and 40 resorts and guesthouses and making use of the 36 restaurants and 22 entertainment venues, according to the provincial Information, Culture and Tourism Department.
Officials expect that more than 1 million Chinese out of an overall total of 4.5 million people will take a holiday in Laos during Visit Laos-China Year 2019.
Xekong province is located just off Road No. 13 South, about 10 hour’s drive from Vientiane on a good road. The 800-km journey can be made by bus from Vientiane. People wanting to know about tourist facilities and attractions in Xekong can find more information on www.Sekong-dict.gov.la
Information can also be obtained from the Xekong provincial Information, Culture and Tourism Department on 038 211024 or 038 211361.

By Siladda Souliyong
(Latest Update March 12, 2019)

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