Town of Luang Prabang (Lao People’s Democratic Republic) © UNESCO
TOKYO (Kyodo) — A popular actress and a singer from Laos promoted the Southeast Asian country as a tourist destination at a weekend expo in Tokyo.
The annual expo in Japan is one of the world’s largest travel-related events, with exhibitors from more than 130 countries and regions around the world, as well as all of Japan’s 47 prefectures.The Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism designated fashion model and actress Louknam, who was Miss Laos 2011, as goodwill ambassador to the event. She and singer Tar Apacts welcomed visitors at a booth set up by the ministry at the Tourism Expo Japan 2017 at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition complex in the Odaiba waterfront area.
I was very happy that I was selected as goodwill ambassador, Louknam said in an interview with Kyodo News. Taking this opportunity, I can introduce Laos to the Japanese people and I am very honoured to do something toward Visit Laos Year.
Laos has declared 2018 as Visit Laos Year, seeking to boost the number of people who visit the Southeast Asian country.
In photo sessions held at the Lao booth on Saturday and Sunday, visitors were able to take photos with Louknam, who wore the traditional clothing of an ethnic group from northern Laos, and Tar with a silver pha bieng , a sash worn on special occasions.
The two also appeared on a stage of the expo venue Sunday for a talk event, with Tar singing phrases from the song �Jewel of Mekong�.
�Laos has a lot of nature so I recommend nature tourism, in particular a tour to Luang Prabang,� an ancient capital registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Louknam said in the interview, adding that visitors can easily make friends with people in Laos, because they are kind. Tar said Laos maintains a strongly traditional culture, even in ordinary life. �There is a diversity of people and cultures from the north of Laos to the south. This diversity of people and cultures is one of Laos’ charms, in addition to nature,� he said.
Louknam recommended that visitors interested in Lao cuisine try laap, a traditional dish made of chopped meat, while Tar said he would like visitors from Japan to see Lao women of all ages wearing the traditional wrap-around skirt known as a sinh.
Deputy Director General of the Tourism Marketing Department of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Ms Sengsoda Vanthanouvong, said the ministry hopes the number of Japanese people visiting Laos will increase through this event.
�I would like more and more Japanese people to visit Laos,� she said. �Next year, when the country marks Visit Laos Year, each province will hold a traditional cultural event.�
(Latest Update September 26, 2017)
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