Vang Vieng, the popular backpacking destination in Laos, wants to improve its reputation by modernising its tourism facilities.
The Vientiane Times reported a senior local tourism official as saying that work has already begun to improve a series of tourist facilities, including hotels and guesthouses. Training will also be undertaken to improve service standards.
Vang Vieng is famous for “tubing” – floating down the river in a rubber tube – but authorities have also now approved the introduction of new activities such as “paramotoring”, or powered paragliding.
According to the local tourism office, more than 140,000 international travellers visited Vang Vieng last year, almost half of whom came from Europe. But authorities have come under pressure to clean up the town’s reputation, following a history of drunkenness and drug-taking.
Vang Vieng is located on the Nam Song River, midway between Vientiane and Luang Prabang.