Two Resorts in Luang Prabang Report Damage Due to Forest Fires

A bungalow was burned down due to the fire in Lunag Prabang on Thursday at Lao Spirit Resort. ( Photo : Wieslaw Bylo).

Whether it is lack of occupancy or damage to property, tourism-related businesses in Luang Prabang have continued to get affected by slash-and-burn practices that has also caused hazardous levels of air pollution in the region.

Two resorts in Luang Prabang recently reported having incurred damage to their property as forest fires spread uncontrollably through the area.

Mr. Wieslaw Bylo, the manager at Lao Spirit Resort in Luang Prabang, said that one of the five bungalows on the property was damaged by the forest fire on Thursday evening.

“The fire came closer to the bungalow from the forest, which was at a distance, before it started spreading to the roof of the bungalow as it was made from wood. We’ve had a very difficult year as residents and even now we can see the fire blazing through the mountains in Luang Prabang,” said Mr. Wieslaw

The manager of Zen Namkhan Resort, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Laotian Times that five of its bungalows were destroyed by agricultural fires.

‘”It is extremely dangerous to have tourism businesses located in forest areas at the moment, as locals cut down trees to harvest crops, especially pineapple plantations. I believe it is a crisis for tourism investors as well,” he said.

The resort was just preparing to reopen after the Covid-19 outbreak, but the fire has now delayed its operations as the management needs to first focus on restoring the damaged property, the manager adds.

Both resorts informed that there were no injuries sustained by guests or staff due to the fires.

In March, hotel operators in Luang Prabang reported some tourists canceled or postponed their reservations due to health concerns related to dangerous PM2.5 levels caused by crop burning in the province.