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The world most popular town 2008 goes to Luang prabang, Laos

Photo: Xiengthong temple, Luang prabang

(KPL) The first world heritage town of the Lao PDR, Luang Prabang, has been voted the most popular town of the world.

The votes were released in England’s Wanderlust Magazine.

According to Luang Prabang Tourist Office, the world heritage town of Luang Prabang has been selected among 615 tourist towns world-wide. The town has won the honour for three consecutive years since 2006 followed by Spain and Italy.

Amid the rising number of tourist arrivals, Lao people are proud of the ranking for the country’s jewel - Luang Prabang.

Mr Khamtanh Somphanvilay, Deputy Head of Luang Prabang Tourism Office, said he believed that the selection would augment this year’s number of tourist arrivals at least to 300,000, which will bring about US$ 100 million.

He added that Laos could not vote for itself and won such an honour for Luang Prabang. But it was the result of a unanimous voting by a number of tourists and tourism companies around the world through England’s Wanderlust Magazine.

Last year, the ancient town in northern Laos was closely kept an eye on by the competent UN agency for local activities of urban development, which could cause damage to efforts of preservation of the value of the ancient culture and unique architecture of Luang Prabang. In this respect, we have cooperated with local authorities and central levels to monitor and inspect activities occurring in the town, but we believed that all things must proceed within the scope enforced regulations and laws, explained Mr Khamtanh.

Luang Prabang was proclaimed by UNESCO as the first world heritage town in Laos in 1995. Since then, this dormant ancient town has been waken up by an influx of tourists from all corners of the world.

In parallel with the invasion of tourists the town also sees floods of external investment. All these could put the heritage town at risk of damaging its ancestor’s traditional way of life and value, and ancient architectural heritage if no measure is taken to control development activities to a proper extent.

Source: kpl

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