Culture, natural charms to showcase Visit Lao Year 2018: Deputy Prime Minister
VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Colourful festivals and events depicting Laos’ diverse cultural, traditional and natural charms are set to be highlighted through Visit Lao Year 2018, the Deputy Prime Minister has announced.
Dr Sonexay Siphandone, who is also Chairman of the National Committee for Visit Lao Year 2018, told hundreds of local and foreign guests yesterday at the press conference in Vientiane that a number of festivals and events have been prepared to impress visitors.
Visit Lao Year 2018 will be launched at the official opening of the annual That Luang Grand Stupa Festival on October 28, 2017 in Vientiane.
“There will be 18 main festivals to be organised in provinces across the country,” he told participants at the press conference for next year’s event.
The festive events taking place throughout the year will showcase diverse cultures, customs and local lifestyles of Laos, which comprises 49 ethnic groups.
The main festivals include the New Year Festival of the Khmu ethnic group in northern Oudomxay province, City Pillar Festival involving 10 ethnic groups in southern Xekong province, and the Ethnic Festival in northern Luang Namtha province.
Authorities in central Borikhamxay province will celebrate the Phabatphonsan Stupa Festival with numerous activities at the temple, where it is believed Buddha visited and had a meal there.
North-western Xayaboury province prepares dozens of elephants to perform and entertain visitors at its annual Elephant Festival, which is normally held in February.
Other festivals on the agenda are Kapok Flower Festival in northern Bokeo province, Vat Phou Temple Festival in Champassak province to celebrate the World Heritage Site stone temple, while Sikhot Stupa Festival will be celebrated in central Khammuan province.
Luang Prabang, the nation’s World Heritage Site, is set to impress visitors with its Lao New Year Festival, which is a major highlight of local lunar New Year celebrations.
The City Pillar Festival and Leaders’ Caves Tour will be organised in northern Huaphan province. Dr Sonexay said southern Saravan and northern Phongsaly provinces will showcase Boat Racing Festivals, while Vientiane will celebrate That Luang Grand Stupa Festival.
Central Savannakhet province will welcome visitors to enjoy Inhang Stupa Festival. Those wanting to experience the Hmong Ethnic Group’s New Year Festivals are invited to Xieng Khuang, Vientiane and Xaysomboun provinces.
Authorities in southern Attapeu province will entertain visitors with celebrations during the King Xaysettha Salutation Festival.
Precise dates for organising these events, which are currently based on the lunar calendar, were being prepared for the international calendar and would be finished soon, Director General of the Tourism Marketing Department, Mr Soun Manivong said.
Those wanting to know precise dates are recommended to visit the official Lao tourism website: www.laotourism.org or follow the committee’s 2018 calendar, which they will produce. Dr Sonexay told the press conference that touring caravans through tourism trails of visitor attractions in northern and southern provinces would be organised.
Domestic and foreign media and tour operators will be invited to participate in trips to tourist attractions to promote the sites and products.
Lao authorities will also organise activities to celebrate World Tourism Day, and showcase a Cultural Performance Festival to be performed by ethnic art troupes from across the country during That Luang Grand Stupa Festival. Additional activities prepared for next year’s event include Asean cycling and sightseeing, off-road motorbike racing, off-road car racing, and mountain climbing among others.
In addition, a number of overseas activities will be carried out to promote Visit Lao Year 2018 to the world including participation in international tourism exhibitions and publishing advertisements in foreign media.