Laos' Huaphan province hopes to attract tourists, investors in 2024-Xinhua

Laos' Huaphan province hopes to attract tourists, investors in 2024

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-01-15 20:21:45

VIENTIANE, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Laos' northern Huaphan province is hoping to attract more tourists during Visit Laos Year 2024, and draw potential investors interested in setting up businesses in the province.

According to a report by Lao National TV on Monday, provincial governor Khampheng Xaysompheng hosted a ceremony to mark the start of Huaphan's tourism program in line with the theme of Visit Laos Year 2024, "A Paradise of Lao Culture, Nature and History."

The province is hoping to attract more than 47,000 tourists during Visit Laos Year 2024, with an estimated spending of 50 billion kip (2.4 million U.S. dollars).

Speaking at the opening ceremony last Friday, the provincial governor said Huaphan will hold activities each month in the year, including ethnic festivals, traditional Lao New Year celebrations, and a boat racing festival.

It is expected the events will help bring both Lao and foreign tourists to Huaphan in large numbers, and attract potential investors.

The growth of business would create jobs for local people and help to ease poverty levels in the remote mountainous northern province, the provincial governor said.

In 2023, at least 45,000 tourists visited Huaphan province, generating more than 32 billion kip (1.5 million U.S. dollars) in revenue, according to the report.

Huaphan, some 310 km northeast of the Lao capital Vientiane, boasts an abundance of all the elements of the theme for Visit Laos Year 2024, as it is spectacularly endowed with stunning landscapes, a rich culture, and fascinating historical links due to its role as the country's revolutionary stronghold.

Another attraction is the province's collection of cherry blossom and peach trees, adding a huge splash of color to the winter landscape.

The peach blossom festival is an annual highlight for Huaphan province, visited by around 20,000 people each year, according to the provincial Department of Information, Culture and Tourism.

Manh Phengkhatiya, head of the provincial Department, told a press conference on Jan. 1, "The provincial authorities are preparing several activities to welcome tourists during the festival and the Visit Laos Year 2024."

These activities include the Miss Peach Blossom contest, an art show, a marathon, and events focused on food items from local ethnic groups.

Provincial authorities are ready to welcome visitors with improved infrastructure, transport and accommodation service.

In addition to infrastructure development, the province is encouraging local authorities and artisans to promote their special brand of handicrafts, with woven silk fabrics being the province's main claim to fame in terms of locally produced items.

In the meantime, plans are underway to upgrade Nong Khang airport to an international facility so that foreign tourists and business operators considering doing business in Huaphan can fly to the province directly.

The government has approved the airport expansion plan, believing enhanced airport capacity to handle international flights will be a huge boon to local economy.

The Visit Laos Year 2024 tourism promotion campaign was officially launched in November 2023. Visit Laos Year 2024 will feature 79 major events and activities, including 14 at the national level and 65 at the provincial level.

The Lao government expects to attract at least 2.7 million foreign tourists in 2024, generating about 401 million U.S. dollars in revenue, while in 2025 tourist arrivals are forecast to reach 2.9 million to generate an income of 434 million U.S. dollars.