Lao province gives green light to eco-friendly tourism

BOKEO, Laos (Vientiane Times/ANN) – While Bokeo province has almost 100 officially listed tourist sites, only 13 of these have been developed to attract visitors, according to the provincial Information, Culture and Tourism Department.

Now provincial authorities are giving the green light to domestic and overseas backers to invest in environmentally-friendly tourism development to increase visitor numbers and create additional income for local people.

Department Director Soukkha Lienthongkham told Vientiane Times that Bokeo like other provinces around the country is gearing up to improve and add new tourist attractions during Visit Laos Year 2018.

There are 99 officially designated tourist sites in Bokeo province. Among those that have visitor facilities are Vat Chome Khao Manirat temple, Pha That Takphakham, the Gibbon Experience, and the fields of kapok trees in the Don Xao area.

“The other sites, which are nature-based or of historical or cultural interest, are waiting for development of some kind,” Soukkha said.

Provincial authorities are boosting efforts to attract more investment to add or improve amenities, while also improving services at hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and tour agencies.

Bokeo province has surveyed three hot springs and plans to sustainably develop the naturally warm and mineral-rich waters as nature-based tourist attractions.

Tree houses at the Gibbon Experience, a popular attraction in Huayxai district, Bokeo province. – VIENTIANE TIMES/ANN