Vientiane cleaning up its act to meet Asean ‘clean city’ standard

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Vientiane is preparing Chanthabouly and Xaysettha districts as a pilot project, hoping to follow in the footsteps of Luang Prabang and become Laos’ second city to meet the Asean Clean Tourist City Standard (ACTCS).

The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism in cooperation with Vientiane authorities, supported by the Regional Economic Integration of Laos into Asean, Trade and Entrepreneurship Development (RELATED) project of GIZ, discussed the Asean Clean Tourist City Standard yesterday, with the capital having the potential to gain certification.

The Standard is based on seven indicators to evaluate a city including environmental management, waste management, awareness-building about environmental protection, and cleanliness.

The availability of green spaces, health safety and urban safety, security and tourism infrastructure and facilities are also taken into account. Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Boua Ngeun Xaphouvong, told a recent meeting that initially Vientiane will provide the two districts of Chanthabouly and Xaysettha as a pilot project for achievement of the Asean Clean Tourist City Standard.

A two-day seminar (November 18-19) is being organising to inform the authorities about how they could prepare the city to meet the criteria.

A representative of the RELATED project, Ms Nidthana Southiseng, said Asean is an interesting region that attracted large numbers of tourists and investors.

The Asean Tourism Strategic Plan 2016-2025 aims to develop the region into a standard destination that provides a variety of experiences. The focus is on increasing Asean’s competitive capacities to become a single tourism destination, ensuring sustainable tourism.

Ms Nidthana said the ACTCS would play an important role in pushing forward the region’s sustainable tourism quality.

Earlier this year, Luang Prabang met the criteria to be certified as an Asean Clean Tourist City at the 2018 Asean Tourism Forum held in Thailand’s Chiang Mai province.

Ms Nidthana suggested that Vientiane authorities provide only one of the capital’s districts for selection to meet the ACTCS criteria in 2020.

Authorities from Luang Prabang also attended the meeting to help prepare Vientiane for ACTCS submission.

Tourism experts said ACTCS accreditation would greatly assist the capital and help to attract tourists. The government is targeting 6 million international visitors by 2020.

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