Luang Prabang Braces for Chinese Tourism Hordes


Luang Prabang is attracting increasing numbers of Chinese tourists, and this surge in popularity is creating communication challenges for hotel and restaurant owners when large groups arrive.

The ongoing Visit Laos-China Year campaign is expected to deliver higher numbers to Luang Prabang and other northern provinces.

The city is currently riding a wave of popularity with Chinese visitors, with some travelling in groups of hundreds of vehicles, Deputy Director of the Luang Prabang provincial Information, Culture and Tourism Department, Soudaphone Khomthavong told the Vientiane Times.

As a result, more Chinese restaurants are opening to cater to their culinary tastes. 

“We recommend that restaurants add Chinese language to their menus so people can order the food they like,” Mrs Khomthavong said.

Thai and Chinese citizens have been coming to Luang Prabang in big numbers for several years, and local authorities expect Chinese tourists to top the visitor’s chart this year.

Officials say when sizeable groups of Chinese come to Luang Prabang, communication with staff at guesthouses, hotels and restaurants can be somewhat troublesome as the Chinese cannot speak English, French, or Lao.    

About 655,000 tourists of all nationalities visited the province last year, and tourism officials hope to boost the number to 700,000 by 2020.

They say Luang Prabang can currently welcome about 10,000 tourists per day, but some worry about the sustainable future of tourism if visitor numbers rise further during peak times.

Source: Vientiane Times


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