TOURISM-TRAVEL: VIENTIANE, Laos – Savannakhet hopes history book will entice tourists

More information about the history of Savannakhet is needed for inclusion in a book to mark the 120th anniversary of the province, as this would make for more interesting reading by visitors, Vice Governor Mr Thonkeo Phouthakaiya has said.

“It’s important that we include the history of all the notable places in Savannakhet so that visitors have a wealth of information at their fingertips,” he said.

Savannakhet has embarked on a strategy to bolster tourism and is hoping to receive more visitors in the near future.



The book, which will be printed soon, is intended to be a useful source of information for tourists and other people in Laos and countries around the world.

“We are situated on the East-West Economic Corridor in Asean so we have many people travelling through on their way to Thailand or Vietnam. We have tried our best to advertise our various attractions to persuade people to stay longer. But we still get fewer visitors compared to other provinces. So this year being our 120th anniversary we will promote our attractions as much as possible,” Mr Thonkeo said.

The most popular places in Savannakhet are the That Ing Hang stupa, That Phon, a stone structure similar in design to Vat Phou Champassak, and a collection of dinosaur bones that were discovered in the province.

“It’s the first time we’ve made such an effort to spread the message about these places. They are very appealing to people from Thailand and Vietnam but recently the number of tourists has dropped and we’re getting fewer visitors than before,” Mr Thonkeo said. The province’s Information, Culture and Tourism Department is restoring the That Nang Lao stupa and plans to improve the facility that houses the dinosaur remains. Officials are also upgrading other tourist attractions along Road No. 9 running between Savannakhet and Vietnam.

“There are many other places that have the potential to attract tourists but we haven’t yet made them visitor-friendly and we need to do more to add to their appeal. For example, at the dinosaur museum we need scientists to analyse the remains and decide whether the beats were herbivores or meat-eaters. Then we should improve the exhibit so that it is more attractive and informative,” Mr Thonkeo said.

The provincial government is also planning to arrange for people living in Outhoumphone, Atsaphongthong, Phalarnxay, Phin and Xepon districts to set up stalls along Road No. 9 to sell goods produced under the One District, One Product scheme. Food, toilets and other amenities would also be provided.
Mr Thonkeo said tourist attractions would be spotlighted in each district along the road to entice travellers who were staying overnight.
“Our plan is that travellers would have breakfast in central Savannakhet, then  have lunch and do some shopping along Road No. 9 and stay for a night to visit some tourist sites before going on to Vietnam or Thailand the next day,” he said.

Savannakhet officials are going all out to highlight the province’s places of interest and hope to reveal its hidden charms to as many people as possible during Visit Laos Year 2018. / Vientiane Times / By Souknilundon Southivongnorath / (Latest Update March 1, 2018


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