Oudomxay province is setting its sights on developing tourist attractions so as to bring in more Chinese investors and visitors.
Chinese visitors are steadily increasing in number at the province’s main tourist destinations and now Oudomxay is planning to attract another two million.
Provincial Deputy Governor, Mr Somchith Panyasack, told the press that China’s Xishuangbanna province receives about 20 million visitors a year.
When I visited Xishuangbanna, it was suggested I bring 10 percent of Chinese tourists or two million people to Oudomxay each year from Xishuangbanna, he said.
If this number of people were to visit Oudomxay from Xishuangbanna, it is envisaged that the province’s economic growth would increase rapidly.
But Mr Somchith was concerned about whether there would be sufficient accommodation for such a large influx of tourists.
An official at the Oudomxay tourism office, Mr Van Mingboupha, told Vientiane Times on Monday that accommodation in the provincial capital, Xay district, was sufficient to house more than two million visitors a year and there would be no problem supplying enough food.
There are almost 3,000 rooms available in the capital’s hotels and guesthouses, many of which are currently empty, Mr Van said.
Mr Somchith added that there were several places of interest in the province- one of which is Nam Kat waterfall. This beautiful spot is popular with locals and foreigners alike and receives about 100 visitors a day.
Last year, about 215,000 foreigners visited the province. According to the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, the total number of foreign tourist arrivals in Laos increased from 2.7 million people in 2011 to 4.1 million last year.
People driving to the northern provinces of Luang Namtha, Bokeo and Phongsaly from Vientiane often stay overnight in Oudomxay to break the journey.
A road connecting to Phongsaly through China’s Yunnan province offers a shortcut for motorists visiting Phongsaly, but not many people use this route yet.
Due to the number of trucks queuing at the Laos-China border in Luang Namtha province, many people prefer to drive to Phongsaly through Oudomxay instead.
Source: Vientiane Times