Visit Laos Year 2018 Launched along with That Luang Festival 2017
Create: 30/10/2017 09:25
(KPL) Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith announced on Saturday the launch of Visit Laos Year 2018 and annual That Luang Festival celebration in the presence of ministers, foreign diplomats, senior officials of Vientiane Capital, representatives of international organizations and Vientiane residents.
The government has set an ambitious plan to have at least 5 million foreigners visiting the country over the next twelve months and to have at least US$ 900 million generated as incomes for the country by foreign visitors.
“Over the past years, the government of Laos PDR has come to regard tourism as a priority sector for driving the socio-economic development of the country. Tourism brings spending on goods and services that can boost currency reserves and circulation of money in the country and create more job opportunities for people in service and production sectors, particularly agriculture and handicraft production,” said Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Bosengkham Vongdara, who also wears another had as Vice President of the National Committee for Visit Laos Year 2018.
Laos has already organized the Visit Laos Year twice – one in 1999-2000 and another one in 2011-2012 –to promote tourism industry and attract more visitors to Laos.
“The official launch sees us considering ‘Visit Laos Year 2018’ as a most important activity. The effort does not only seek to promote tourism but also aim to preserve unique culture and fine traditional culture of Laos. Also the visit Laos Year 2018 will, directly and indirectly, stimulate the country’s economic sectors, particularly tourism related businesses,” said the minister.
The Visit Laos Year 2018 will comprise activities to be organized in Laos and abroad. These will include festivals in various provinces across the country.
“This year’s That Luang Festival is significant because we have completed the fourth restoration project of That Luang stupa as anticipated. The project comprises eight significant components. Nevertheless, the most significant one is many kilograms of gold have been placed atop the That Luang Stupa and 30 surrounding smaller spires splendidly. Also, a golden Buddha image has been moulded and resides at That Luang, serving a significant symbol for That Luang restoration project and consecration ceremony of That Luang Stupa,” said the minister.
That Luang Festival is organized each year and comprises activities. This year, due to the launch of the Visit Laos Year 2018, That Luang Festival trade fair focuses on promoting One District One Products (ODOP), products produced by model families, SME products and agriculture and handicraft products as well as the exhibition of local and foreign tourism products.
This year’s That Luang Festival trade fair is organized in two venues: Lao ITECC comprising 460 booths of local and foreign companies and That Luang Esplanade comprising 640 booths, of which three owned by foreign countries.
The festival also features the display of Lao style houses, cultural performance and activities related to worship for That Luang Stupa as well as cultural and religious affairs.
The areas surrounding That Luang Stupa and nearby areas have been arranged as a seating place for festival goers to watch wax castle processions in the north of That Luang. In addition, That Luang Esplanade and areas surrounding the stupa are well organized for people to watch Tiky (Lao hockey) and give alms to monks and carry out candlelight processions.