WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD CEREMONYHELD IN VIENTIANE - LAO PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLICOn 19 October 2011, in th...
2WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013 IS LAOSBetween 5 to 10 May 2013 a high ranking offi-cial delegation of European C...
3WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION IN 2013 IS LAO PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATICREPUBLICHonorary Consulates and other structuresdestined...
426 APRIL 2013 – EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADE ELECTSLAOS AS WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013On 26th of Apr...
526 APRIL 2013 – EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADE ELECTSLAOS AS WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013significance a...
6LAOS: SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL– MINISTER BOSENGKHAM VONGDARA KEY NOTESPEECH FOR WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION CEREMONY FOR 2013O...
7LAOS: SIMPLY BEAUTIFULACADEMICIAN BOSENGKHAM VONGDARA KEY NOTE SPEECHFOR WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION CEREMONY FOR 2013...
8LAOS: SIMPLY BEAUTIFULACADEMICIAN BOSENGKHAM VONGDARA KEY NOTE SPEECHFOR WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION CEREMONY FOR 2013...
9LAO PDR– A CULTURAL AND TOURISTIC PARADISEby Professor Dr. Anton Caragea-PRESIDENT OFEUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRAD...
10LAO PDR– A CULTURAL AND TOURISTIC PARADISEby Professor Dr. Anton Caragea-PRESIDENT OFEUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRA...
11LAO PDR– A CULTURAL AND TOURISTIC PARADISEby Professor Dr. Anton Caragea-PRESIDENT OFEUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRA...
12LAOS– A MASTERPIECE OF CULTURAL TOURISM byProfessor Dr. MIRCEA CONSTANTINESCU-DIRECTOROF EUROPEAN TOURISM ACADEMYYour Ex...
13LAOS– A MASTERPIECE OF CULTURALTOURISM by Professor Dr. MIRCEACONSTANTINESCU-DIRECTOR OFEUROPEAN TOURISM ACADEMYThe coll...
14Photo montage by Nicolae NicolaeEUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADEWORLD BEST TOURIST AWARD CEREMONYFORLAOS2013 WINNER...
15Photo montage by Nicolae NicolaeEUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADEDELEGATION VISIT IN LAOSWORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINAT...
16European TourismAcademy is welcoming anew memberDR. BOSENGKHAMVONGDARAMinister of Culture,Information`s and Tourismof LA...
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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF TOURISM. LAOS-WOLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013

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European Journal of Tourism is a regular publication of European Council on Tourism and Trade destined to disseminate information`s about World Best Tourist destinations, European tourism statistic, evolution`s, laws, regulations and main event`s.
European Journal of Tourism has an average readership for issue of more than 120.000 professional’s, that includes the 180 embassies in Brussels as well as all major European government institutions, private corporations and the international community at large. As the flagship newspaper of the European tourism community, we are the only publication in the Europe able to reach the tourism highly targeted and lucrative market.

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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF TOURISM. LAOS-WOLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013

  1. 1. WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD CEREMONYHELD IN VIENTIANE - LAO PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLICOn 19 October 2011, in the framework of European Council on Tourism and Tradeofficial delegation visit to LAO PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC , Professor Dr.Anton Caragea , President of European Council on Tourism and Trade bestowupon people and government of LAO PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC theWORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD for 2013 and declared LAO PDR asFAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION for 2013.The impressive ceremony held in Vientiane, capital of LAO PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATICREPUBLIC was held under the auspices of Minister of Culture, Information`s andTourism, Honorable Dr. Academician Bosengkham Vongdara and under the HighPatronage of Government of LAO PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC.The most important touristic event of the year, the announcement of the WORLDBEST TOURIST DESTINATION for 2013, had attracted a large audience of ministers,parliamentary and tourism professionals eager to find out the reasons for selectingLAO PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC as the winner of the prestigious award fornext year.this issueWORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATIONAWARD CEREMONY P.1LAO PDR-SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL P.6Vientiane P.9Upcoming event`s P.16UNITED ARAB EMIRATESCONGRATULATES LAOS -WORLD BEST TOURISTDESTINATION FOR 2013H.E. Yacoub Yousef Al Hosani, UnitedArab Emirates Ambassador has pre-sented his congratulation to ProfessorDr. Anton Caragea, European Councilon Tourism and Trade for the electionof LAO PDR as the new WORLD BESTTOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013.This election is a sign of the greatinfluence of European Council onTourism and Trade on internationalscale, influence in the service of bet-ter oriented tourism.United Arab Emirates had enjoyed thebenefit`s of being elected WORLDBEST TOURIST DESTINATION twotimes and we hope that tourism inLaos will see a similar boost as theresult of the award, commented UAEAmbassador in dialogue with ECTTPresident.EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF TOURISMQuarterly Journal of Tourism Information General Manager: Nicolae NicolaeISSUE 8 YEAR 2013 SPECIAL EDITION: WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION
  2. 2. 2WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013 IS LAOSBetween 5 to 10 May 2013 a high ranking offi-cial delegation of European Council on Tourismand Trade, under the leadership of H.E. Profes-sor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of EuropeanCouncil on Tourism and Trade ( ECTT) was in-vited for a working visit in People`s DemocraticRepublic of Lao( Lao PDR).The delegation had also the outstanding task ofpresenting to the people and Government ofLao PDR the highest honor in tourism: theWORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARDFOR 2013.The visit has being encompassed in the rapiddeveloping bilateral relation between Europeand Laos, in a rapid evolving dialogue and areciprocated desire to establish an extensiveand consolidate partnership, Laos being pres-ently the main partner of our European Councilon Tourism and Trade in the South-East Asiaarea.In the framework of H.E. President Dr. AntonCaragea visit an inclusive discussion was heldwith H.E. Thongsing Thammavong -Prime Minis-ter of Lao.Tabled at the meeting where the extension ofbilateral exchanges in areas such as economy,tourism, culture and political dialogue.H.E. Thongsing Thammavong -Prime Minister ofLao has outlined for European delegation anextensive presentation of the Laos economicsituation as a country in full and ample develop-ment, with a rate of annual economic growth of4 to 7%, and an expansion rate of incomingtourists of more than 20% annually and beingcounted amongst economic tigers of the area.Also the Prime Minister had expressed the sin-cere appreciation of the Government and Peo-ple of Laos for the instrumental role played byProfessor dr. Anton Caragea in promoting Laosimage in the world and in bestowing theWORLD BEST TOURISM DESTINATION title forLao.On his turn, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea hademphasized the strong points of Lao: politicalstability, impressive economic developmentand the clear express desire to extend the bilat-eral relation.The visit H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea leaddelegation had included also an extensive dia-logue with H.E. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara,Minister of Culture, Information`s and Tourismand H. E. Vice-Prime Minister Asang Laoly andDr. Thongloun Sisoulith-Minister of ForeignAffairs.Tabled at the meetings where issued such asthe establishment of a Council for Business andCooperation, Bilateral Chamber of Commerce,Impressive WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION Award Ceremony held in Vientiane .
  3. 3. 3WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION IN 2013 IS LAO PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATICREPUBLICHonorary Consulates and other structuresdestined to enhance the economic, culturaland political partnership.H.E. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister ofCulture, Information`s and Tourism ex-pressed his appreciation for the Professor dr.Anton Caragea support for Laos in champi-oning at European level with considerableinfluence and energy the country as aWORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION.During the discussion with Dr. BosengkhamVongdara, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea hadpresented the arguments for Lao PDR beingconsidered as a world power in culture andtourism , noting that in XXI century that val-ues of a nation is encompassing the culturaland historical patrimony and in this regardLao PDR is an outstanding country.At the end of the meeting, professor dr.Mircea Constantinescu, Director of EuropeanTourism Academy had bestow the title andinsignia and certificate of European academi-cian to H.E. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Min-ister of Culture, Information`s and Tourismfor his unremitting efforts in promoting tour-ism as a tool for peace and development.The program of European delegation headedby H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea alsoincluded a strong cultural element like visit-ing UNESCO heritage city of Luang Prabang,That Luang National Stupa, Vat Siseket tem-ple, Vat Xiang tong, UNESCO classifiedmonuments such as: Vat Vixun, Vat Phat Tai,Royal Palace of Luang Prabang, Phusi andXieng Tong temple ad National MuseumKaysone Pomvihan etc.Also a special program was carved off forprofessor dr. Anton Caragea as WORLD AM-BASSADOR OF NATURAL PROTECTED AREASto visit special natural monuments situatedalong the banks of Mekong river.H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea had highlypraised the decision`s taken by the Govern-ment of Lao PDR to protect natural patri-mony, environmental protection and sus-tainable development for this importanttouristic areas.On 9 May 2013 in an impressive ceremony,full of pomp and paraphernalia, the WORLDBEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR2013 was bestow to the people and Govern-ment of LAOS.The ceremony reuniting leaders of Govern-ment of Lao PDR, diplomats, academicians,business community, cultural and mediarepresentatives had included the presenta-tion of the AWARD FOR WORLD BEST TOUR-IST DESTINATION IN 2013, the presentationof the main landmark beauties and scenicspots for tourism in Lao an emotionalcharged speech of H.E. Dr. BosengkhamVongdara, Minister of Culture, Information`sand Tourism and concluding a large area offashion presentation, music and dance spec-tacle that impress favorable the numerousassistance.By the outstanding organizing the WORLDBEST TOURIST DESTINATION CEREMONY inVientiane, the Government of Lao PDR hadproved his extraordinary capacity to hostinternational events and to organize highresounding world meeting.The successful and felicitous visit of Euro-pean Council on Tourism and Trade delega-tion , the high level and inclusive dialoguewith the relevant authorities of Lao PDR, thereciprocated vision of rapid evolving rela-tions, the clearly marked economic, touristicand cultural opportunities are all testa-ment`s of the desire to further extend thedialogue. (EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOUR-ISM AND TRADE PRESS OFFICE )
  4. 4. 426 APRIL 2013 – EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADE ELECTSLAOS AS WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013On 26th of April 2013 in a public séance ofthe European Council on Tourism and Trade,gathering representatives of tourism organi-zations from European continent has de-bated the list of candidates for WORLD BESTTOURIST DESTINATION for 2013.Professor Dr. Mircea Constantinescu, Direc-tor of Tourism Academy had presented areport on the last year situation of theAward for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINA-TION that was dedicated to Trinidad andTobago and it was used accordingly withrules and regulations and have being provinghighly efficient in attracting new tourists andinvestor`s. In 2012 Trinidad and Tobago hadreverse the downward spiral in number oftourists and revenues provided by tourismand was the ONLY country in the Caribbeanregion that registered an increase in numberof visitors despite economic crisis.Increase in investment, increase in tourismpotential and number of foreign visitors wasthe positive outcome of WORLD BEST TOUR-IST DESTINATION AWARD for Trinidad andTobago concluded professor dr. Mircea Con-stantinescu.On the debate for WORLD BEST TOURISTDESTINATION AWARD FOR 2013 professordr. Anton Caragea, President of EuropeanCouncil on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) pre-sented the report titled: LAOS: A TOURISTICAND CULTURAL PARADISE proposing LAOS asthe winner of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTI-NATION FOR 2013.Among the reasons for awarding WORLDBEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013 toLAOS the report outlined:Promoting a new concept of communitybased tourism, friendly to nature, with lowecological impact and preservation of natu-ral biodiversity and protection of endan-gered species and areas, especially rainfor-est eco-climate.Community based ecotourism is a way toshare revenues and income, to support ruralcommunities in prospering and presentingtheir foodstuff and handicrafts to the worldand to make the base for an economic localdevelopment.Sharing tourism benefits to all the popula-tion, offering a social tourism it is a lessonthat Lao is offering to the world.Laos is offering to tourists not only a histori-cal and outstanding cultural experience butalso the possibility to explore nature , tocontribute to ecological preservation andthe opportunity to visit extraordinary spacesuch as: Nam Ngum reservoir, Bolaven pla-teau, Mekong river islands, Mekong riverboat trip, Tad Kouangsi waterfall , the caveof de Ting. All this are model of achieve-ments in ecological and green tourism thatmust be world recognized.The continuous development and protectionof cultural and historical patrimony of Peo-ples Democratic Republic of LAO, the trans-formation of Vientiane in a historical andspiritual center offering to the visitor aglimpse into rich culture and heritage ofpeoples of Lao.- The preservation of an outstanding histori-cal and cultural patrimony that compriseswonderful sites such as: Wat Phu- a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site from 12th century, theremarkable site from Plain of Jars, offeringan insight into Neolithic civilization and arare window into traditions of centuries.Today, Lao is offering an open air museum, arare collection of historical and archeologicaltreasures that educate and enrich the world.- The preservation of religious sites of world26 APRIL 2013PHOTO CHRONICLEOF EUROPEAN COUNCILON TOURISM AND TRADEMEETING
  5. 5. 526 APRIL 2013 – EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADE ELECTSLAOS AS WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013significance and value such as: Wat XiengThong, one of the most important of worldBuddhism monasteries and remains a signifi-cant place for the spirit of religion and tradi-tional art. Other sites that must be men-tioned such as: Wat Phu (UNESCO heritagesite) and Champasak Cultural Landscape(under UNESCO recognition).Keeping alive spiritual tradition, integratingtourist`s and visitors in the atmosphere ofthe Lao people, offering possibility for anenriching cultural experience, are allachievements that transform Peoples De-mocratic Republic of LAO in a spiritual desti-nation of first hand.After hearing the report, Senator Ionel Agrig-oroaiei, from Romanian Parliamentary andDirector in European Council on Tourism andTrade had express the feeling’s of all presentat the gathering declaring that: LAOS is astrong candidate, with a perfect record ofpromoting clean, ecological and social ori-ented tourism and that only a unanim-ity vote in favor of LAOS could expressthe European tourism and economiccommunity decisive action in favor ofsuch a world model.Mr. Mark Doda, representing Balkancountries at the meeting had alsostated the desire of peoples of South-East Europe to support a new model oftourism in the present economic cli-mate, a community based tourism onLaos example. In the end of the debateEuropean Council on Tourism andTrade decided, unanimously, to awardWORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATIONFOR 2013 TITLE TO LAO PEOPLE`S DE-MOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to declareLAO PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC-FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATIONSin 2013.It was also presented the Official Invi-tation, on behalf of Ministry of Infor-(EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM ANDTRADE PRESS OFFICE )mation, Culture and Tourism of LAO for adelegation of European high ranking officialof European Council on Tourism and Trade,to present the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTI-NATION AWARD in Vientiane, in person, toHis Excellency Minister of Tourism Professordr. BOSENGKHAM VONGDARA.Awarding the highest tourism distinction ofEuropean Council on Tourism and Trade,accepting the invitation for an working visitof high ranking members of European Coun-cil on Tourism and Trade in LAOS, are esti-mated by all tourism experts as a good ex-ample of close tourism relations and mutualconsensus between Europe and Laos, saidat the end of the meeting Professor AntonCaragea, President of European Council onTourism and Trade.
  6. 6. 6LAOS: SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL– MINISTER BOSENGKHAM VONGDARA KEY NOTESPEECH FOR WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION CEREMONY FOR 2013On behalf of the Lao government and people, itis my pleasure and delight to welcome all dele-gates to the presentation ceremony of theWorlds Best Tourist Destination Award for2013 to Laos.Today, the Lao government and people areproud and delighted to have received this hon-orable prize, which demonstrates the greatachievements of tourism development in Laos.Laos offers impressive tourist attractions andservices for tourists from across the world.I would like to take this opportunity to praiseand express my sincere gratitude to the Euro-pean Council on Tourism and Trade and all tour-ists for highly valuing Lao tourism and selectingLaos as the Worlds Best Tourist Destination for2013.I would like, especially, to welcome Prof. Dr.Anton Caragea, Chairman of the EuropeanCouncil on Tourism and Trade, and his delega-tion to Laos to attend the ceremony and pre-sent the award.The Lao PDR is diverse in languages, culturesand customs, which have been inherited fromour ancestors over thousands of years. Thecountry is rich in spectacular natural resourcesas well as having a long and civilised history andwell-known archaeological sites, which furtherboosts Laos tourism potential. With great ef-fort and a high sense of responsibility by theParty and government since the 4th Party Con-gress in 1986 outlined a comprehensive renova-tion policy to open up for foreign cooperation,tourism has played an ever more prominentrole in the countrys socio-economic develop-ment. The government has defined policy andtaken action to develop and promote cultural,natural and historical tourism. To facilitate thegrowth of tourism and services, the govern-ment has done its utmost to develop infrastruc-ture such as building roads to link all regionsacross the country as well as connecting withneighbouring countries. Over the past 4-5 years,the government has exerted utmost efforts toincrease the number of border checkpoints tointegrate with countries in the region and theworld at large. At present, the Lao PDR has 23international checkpoints, of which 21 can issuevisas. Laos has four international airports(Wattay International Airport, Luang PrabangInternational Airport, Savannakhet Interna-tional Airport and Pakxe International Airport).Visas have been exempted for citizens of Aseanmember countries. Laos has also granted visaexemptions to citizens of Japan, Republic ofKorea, Switzerland, Russia, Mongolia andEYE ON ITKazakhstan congratulatesLAOS for being namedWORLD BEST TOURISTDESTINATION FOR 2013His Excellency Kazakhstan Ambas-sador Talgat Kaliyev stated afterLaos was awarded the title ofWORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINA-TION FOR 2013 that :I express my sincere congratulationfor the government of LAO PDR forthis outstanding success and pow-erful promotion tool for tourism,but also for the international pres-tige of your country.I hope that we can cooperatewithin European Council on Tour-ism and Trade for promoting tour-ism, cultural and trade ties be-tween our countries.I express also our hope that we willenjoy Lao PDR support for Kazakh-stan candidature for World BestTourist Destination 2014.
  7. 7. 7LAOS: SIMPLY BEAUTIFULACADEMICIAN BOSENGKHAM VONGDARA KEY NOTE SPEECHFOR WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION CEREMONY FOR 2013and Luxembourg. The authorities have redefined that visas issuedat checkpoints permit the holders to stay in Laos for 15 days, re-duced from 30 days previously.According to Prime Ministerial Order No. 15 issued on June 20,2006, these visas can be extended by the provincial authoritiesinstead of only by the Vientiane authority as before. In addition,the government grants three-month visas to foreign citizens of Laoorigin who acquire visas from Lao embassies, which can be ex-tended for another three months. However, visas issued at bordercheckpoints grant only a two-month stay with another two monthsof extension. After implementing the aforesaid tourism develop-ment and promotion policy, thetourism sec tor has grown rapidly.From 1990 to 2012, foreign touristarrivals have risen by an averageof 20.36 percent annually. In2012, Laos registered 3,330,072foreign tourists generating totalr e v e n u e a s h i g h a sUS$513,576,784. By 2013 thenumber of tour operators hadrisen to 275 companies. Hotelsand guesthouses have also in-creased and in 2012 there were3,526 hotels and guesthousesoffering 35,857 rooms. Laos nowhas 1,493 official tourist sitescomprising 849 sites of natural interest, 435 sites of cultural inter-est, and 209 historical sites.The Lao PDR shares similar characteristics with many other coun-tries, such as different and diverse traditions and customs amongits multi-ethnic people. There are also impressive archaeologicaland historical sites such as Luang Prabang, the historic town andliving world heritage site, and Vat Phou Champassak, which is an-other world heritage site dating back to the 12th century. In addi-tion, the historic caves of Viengxay (deemed to be the birthplace ofthe Lao PDR) have become an open-air museum, while the Plain ofJars is expected to be listed as a world heritage site in the nearfuture. The Lao PDR also has rich and beautiful natural sites suitablefor development as ecotourism attractions and green industry with-out smog or hazardous pollution, which will become new relaxingsites to impress visitors from the region and the world.Community-based eco-tourism programmes have become Laosunique feature and have great potential because they give visitorsthe chance to get in touch with and taste nat ure, as well as theeveryday life of local people and the customs practised by the Laomultiethnic people.To translate the tourism development strategic plan for 2011-2020,the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism in collaborationwith provincial authorities have carried out nature-based tourismactivities with the participation of local people by making use of thelocal potential and conditions of each province.Such activities were first initiated in 2000 in Luang Namtha prov-ince, called the ‘Community-based Eco-tourism Programme. Simi-lar programmesnow exist in all17 provincesinvolving 40districts and160 villages,and have gener-ated incomedirectly for localpeople.B e c a u s e o fthese progres-s i v e g r e a tachievementsof the Lao tour-ism sector cou-pled with the impressive progress made in socio-economic develop-ment across the country, Laos has been praised by tourists andfriendly countries across the world, justified by the fact that Laoshas been awarded many honourable and impressive prizes as fol-lows:In 2008, the New York Times named Laos as one of 53 countries itdescribed as the worlds top tourist destinations.The world heritage site of Luang Prabang received the Top CityGold Award after being voted the worlds top tourist destination by
  8. 8. 8LAOS: SIMPLY BEAUTIFULACADEMICIAN BOSENGKHAM VONGDARA KEY NOTE SPEECHFOR WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION CEREMONY FOR 2013Wanderlust, a UK based travel magazine from 2006 to 2008,and again from 2010 to 2012.The Community-based Eco-tourism Programme in the Nam HaProtected Forest Area in Luang Namtha province also won anaward for ‘best poverty alleviation project and ‘best servicesgiven by the United Nations Development Programme. Andtoday, we feel proud and honoured that the European Councilon Tourism and Trade awards Laos with the Worlds Best Tour-ist Destination Award for 2013. This honourable prize will makeLaos even more popular among tourists across the globe, andwill drive the development of the tourism sector in our coun-try.I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfeltthanks to Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of the Euro-pean Council on Tourism and Trade, for highly valuing the de-velopment of Lao tourism. I agree with his comment that “Inthe 21st century, tourism has become an important bridge forfriendship and relations among nations in the world; it is also away to promote peace and mutual understanding and lead theway to a good future.”The Lao PDR stands ready to continue to develop the tourismsector to contribute to establishing and enhancing friendlyrelations among nations in the world to make a joint effort topromote peace and mutual understanding, together enteringinto the proper future of development under the sky of peace,friendship and sustainable cooperation.On this auspicious occasion, I would like to wish Party and stateleaders and honourable Lao and foreign guests participating inthis ceremony good health, success in your noble tasks, happi-ness and prosperity, and further contributions to the tourismdevelopment of our country for progressive success.I would like, especially, to wish Professor Dr Anton Caragea andhigh-level delegates from the European Council on Tourismand Trade good health, success in your noble tasks and happi-ness, and to further contribute to promoting Lao tourism inEurope and across the globe.
  9. 9. 9LAO PDR– A CULTURAL AND TOURISTIC PARADISEby Professor Dr. Anton Caragea-PRESIDENT OFEUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADEHis Excellency Mr. Asang Laoly, Deputy Prime Minister incharge of Social and Cultural AffairsHis Excellency Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith, Deputy Prime Ministerand Minister of Foreign AffairsYour Excellency`s distinguish members of Government of Peo-ples Democratic Republic of LaoWe have all gather here to pay homage to an idea and to acountry that embodies this idea.The idea is encompass in the simple truth that: in XXI centurytourism has become a bridge towards knowledge and friend-ship between peoples and countries , a way to promote peaceand understanding, a road that leads towards a better future.We have also gather here to express our appreciation for acountry and a people that will embody in 2013 this triumphantspirit of tourism: the people of Lao.I must re-emphasize that: tourism is in the XXI century, notonly a way to enjoy life, to discover new places, new culturesbut also a mass phenomenon that combines sightseeing, rec-reation and healthcare.Tourism has become,in the world today, anintrinsic value of hu-man life and experi-ence and what I liketo call a natural rightof all people: theright to move freely,to express freely andto enjoy a life of ad-venture and discover-ies.Undoubtedly, for a country tourism is a constant and serioussource of revenue, is becoming an important factor to promotedevelopment, to build roads, to offer to people a source ofincome and employment, a source of prosperity.But, material significance of tourism must not elapse the truevalue of tourism: as a way for people`s to build bridges offriendship and tolerance, to discover different cultures, ideasand way`s of life, to embrace the beauty of being different.We must also clearly mark that: tourism must be based on aset of values such as nature preservation, cultural and histori-cal patrimony conservation for future generation and exactlyfor this need we have carved WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINA-TION AWARD as an international recognition for the country`sthat are respecting this values .I must say what a privilege is for our delegation to honor acountry that is becoming a WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINA-TION.It is also a great pleasure to address our salute to the greatpeople of Lao, a people that had build throughout centuries aperfect civilization, with hundreds of monuments of historicaland civilization relevance, a people that had offered to human-ity countless riches: from religious temple and scriptures toliterary texts and historical writings .Today, Lao had become a cultural and touristic world powerand the main credit belongs, without a doubt, to the great peo-ple of Laos, thatfrom 1975 onwardsis constructing alife of dignity, lib-erty and tolerancein a free country.Today, in a worldthat rarely acceptsand tolerates dif-ference, we cometo honor a countryof TOLERANCE, in aworld crowdedw i t h p s e u d o -culture, without a
  10. 10. 10LAO PDR– A CULTURAL AND TOURISTIC PARADISEby Professor Dr. Anton Caragea-PRESIDENT OFEUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADEdoubt, to the great people of Laos, that from 1975 onwards isconstructing a life of dignity, liberty and tolerance in a freecountry.Today, in a world that rarely accepts and tolerates difference,we come to honor a country of TOLERANCE, in a worldcrowded with pseudo-culture, without a form and substance ,we come today to honor a TRUE CULTURE , in a world that isloosing the true values, we come today the honor a real TOUR-ISTIC VALUE, in a time in which to many speak and do not actfor historical sites preservation, we come to honor a PARADISEOF HISTORY , we come to honor the People`s Democratic Re-public of LAO .Here, we have all gather to show our support for the values ofhumanity, of educational and cultural tourism . We are all herein the search for a country that offer to tourists a completeexperience, a country that educates spirit, elevates soul andgives everybody a lesson in history and culture.We all have found in LAO the perfect teacher in tourism, offer-ing to all the tourist`s of the world the possibility of a safe,pleasurable and enlightening tourist experience.Among the reasons leading to awarding WORLD BEST TOURISTDESTINATION FOR 2013 title to PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUB-LIC OF LAOS our report had taken under consideration:- The preservation of an outstanding historical and culturalpatrimony that comprises wonderful sites such as: Wat Phu- aUNESCO World Heritage Site from 12th century, the remark-able site from Plain of Jars, offering an insight into Neolithiccivilization and a rare window into traditions of centuries.A name that needs no introduction: the UNESCO heritage siteof Luang Prabang, with the gems of Haw Kham and Vat XiengToung monastery.I could continue for hours this list of treasures, but I will enu-merate just in Vientiane- Wat Si Saket, the oldest temple ofthe city and the world famous That Luang complex.Today, Lao is offering an open air museum, a rare collection ofhistorical and archeological treasures that educate and enrichthe world.- The preservationof religious sites ofworld significanceand value such as:Wat Xieng Thong,one of the mostimportant of worldBuddhism monas-teries and remainsa significant place for the spirit of religion and traditional art.Other sites that must be mentioned such as: Wat Phu (UNESCOheritage site) and Champasak Cultural Landscape ( underUNESCO recognition).Keeping alive spiritual tradition, integrating tourist`s and visi-tors in the atmosphere of the Lao people, offering possibilityfor an enriching cultural experience, are all achievements thattransform Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO in a spiritualdestination of first hand.Promoting a new concept of community based tourism,friendly to nature, with low ecological impact and preservationof natural biodiversity and protection of endangered speciesand areas, especially rainforest eco-climate.Community based ecotourism is a way to share revenues andincome, to support rural communities in prospering and pre-senting there foodstuff and handicrafts to the world and tomake the base for an economic local development.Sharing tourism benefits to all the population, offering a socialtourism it is a lesson that Lao is offering to the world.
  11. 11. 11LAO PDR– A CULTURAL AND TOURISTIC PARADISEby Professor Dr. Anton Caragea-PRESIDENT OFEUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADESupporting Lao community tourism project as a way to spreadwealth, it is a duty for everybody and one of the main reasonfor portraying Laos as a world example of democratic tourism,a tourism that is not only offering benefits to the rich, but to allpeople. Lao example must be appreciated and supported , andall tourist that are going to Lao must know that an investmentin Lao tourism is an investment in the future of Lao people.Offering to tourists not only a historical and outstanding cul-tural experience but also the possibility to explore nature, tocontribute to ecological preservation and the opportunity tovisit extraordinary space such as: Nam Ngum reservoir, Bolavenplateau, Mekong river islands, Mekong river boat trip, TadKouangsi waterfall, the cave of de Ting . All this are model ofachievements in ecological and green tourism that must beworld recognized .The continuous development and protection of cultural andhistorical patrimony of Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO,the transformation of Vientiane in a historical and spiritualcenter offering to the visitor a glimpse into rich culture andheritage of peoples of Lao.For all this reasons, among many others, European Council onTourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to award WORLDBEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013 title to PEOPLE`S DE-MOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF LAOS and to declare PEOPLE`S DE-MOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF LAOS- FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINA-TION in 2013.This title is an international recognition of Your work for Peo-ples Democratic Republic of LAO until today, in the service ofhistory and civilization, tourism and culture, in the service ofthe people of LAO, but is also a challenge because now we areexpecting your services in the future benefit of the world cul-ture and tourism.May this award be transformed in a support for developing theinternational standing of People`s Democratic Republic of LAO ,for a sustainable tourism and development and in a base forfurther success for SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL - Peoples DemocraticRepublic of LAO .Is my privileged to award Your Excellency, as representative oftourism of PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF LAOS theaward for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013 .We congratulate You and people of People`s DemocraticRepublic of LAO for this outstanding achievements.
  12. 12. 12LAOS– A MASTERPIECE OF CULTURAL TOURISM byProfessor Dr. MIRCEA CONSTANTINESCU-DIRECTOROF EUROPEAN TOURISM ACADEMYYour Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,We traveled here to bring to you, the people of the Lao Peo-ple’s Democratic Republic, our message of friendship, peace,tolerance and mutual understanding, a message from the veryheart of the European Union.This spring, The European Council on Tourism and Tradeawarded the highest tourism prize, the World Best Tourist Des-tination for 2013 to the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos.60 years ago a well known scientist predicted that up to theend of the last century the world will become global, and thatall the people in the world will be living in “the global village”.It seems indeed that we are living now in a global world, whereall the nations are called to solvecomplex problems of interna-tional, national, confessional,environmental and social nature.And Laos is indeed a part of thisglobal village. The strategic per-spective and the wise and bal-anced approach adopted by yourgovernment and by your coun-try’s leadership is a wonderfulexample. Your country is con-nected to the world with care and confidence, step by step,keeping a balance between the international and the nationalperspective.This means respect for the national identity of Laos, a realiza-tion of the importance of the country’s image in the world, aswell as a need for a sincere and positive cooperation withother countries for the progress and well-being of mankind.When we study the realities of Laos and place of Laos in themodern world we discover that your country is from a certainpoint of view the “melting pot” that the same scientist pre-dicted, a place and a nation where interethnic, interracial, inter-confessional problems are solved peacefully, with a carefulapproach to the environment, people, ancient and modernculture, national and global economy. Here is a typical exampleof the wise manner in which the country’s leadership is solvingcomplex problems and situations.The leaders of Laos, in accordance with the needs and expecta-tions of the Laos society and people decided that the activitiesof information, culture and tourism are gathered under thesame umbrella, in the same ministry, underlying the impor-tance of the three activities, their national importance, as wellas their strong interconnection.Information is vital for any human activity, for any nation in-volved in the process of multilateral development. The lastcentury could be described as the beginning of the informationage. It seems to be a never-ending story. Recent studies re-vealed the too much informa-tion from too many sourcescould be harmful. The individualeffort of looking for informationsources, receiving and decod-ing, selecting and interpretingmay require too much effort.Too much and too divers infor-mation could be confusing.Spending too much time insidethe virtual world keeps us fromliving in real life: to work, to spend quality time with family andfriends, to meet new people and to enjoy the nature. Fromancient times, teaching was the basic method of censorshipand selection, of passing important information from one gen-eration to another.Culture is the heart of every nation, of every group of peoplerelated by place, time and political context. Again, almost 40years ago, the new leadership of your country took a wise andstrategic decision to the build the identity of the Lao nation,the present and the future of the country on the heritage ofthe past. Wisdom and tolerance, firmness and balance, werethe concepts that guided the building of a nation, proud of itspast and confident in its future.
  13. 13. 13LAOS– A MASTERPIECE OF CULTURALTOURISM by Professor Dr. MIRCEACONSTANTINESCU-DIRECTOR OFEUROPEAN TOURISM ACADEMYThe collaboration with UNESCO in identifying and carefullypreserving the heritage of the Lao people is at the same time atoken of admiration and respect of the whole world for thetreasures of the Lao nation. As you may know, the most pre-cious treasure of your country, are the people! They arefriendly and their hospitality is already known around theworld. They seem to live according to other time measures,and I am sure that the English idioms “take your time” and“take it easy” have their ancient roots in Lao!We may thank you for reminding us that there is life beyondstress, morning rush, crazy schedules and endless meetings.And at last, the most complex task of all: tourism. It involvesresources and money, smart managers and nice people, a cul-tural heritage and an enchanting nature, along with good food,good transportation, good housing and most of all, good will.Taking a look at the progress made by Laos’s tourism, we mayaffirm that Laos has all the above incentives, and may becomemany years from now, a preferred tourist destination for mil-lions of people from all over the world.Dear friends,It is so easy for me to bring to you all the good words from theEurope. I would like to congratulate once again your greatleaders, their leadership teams and all the Lao people, menand women that contributed to building together a proud na-tion, admired and respected by the entire world.And finally from our hearts again congratulations for beingawarded the highest tourism prize, the World Best Tourist Des-tination for 2013 to the People’s Democratic Republic of Laosby The European Council on Tourism and Trade.We are here to award to Prof. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara,Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, the HonoraryMembership of the European Tourism Academy.He asked me to speak from the heart, not from the books. Thisis not a “laudatio”, so I do not have to tell you almost anythingabout the curriculum vitae of Prof. Vongdara. You all knowhim, and what I can say is that he had an outstanding career asprofessor, as politician, as a member of the Party and a mem-ber of the Executive.We all know how hard and sometimes painful is to increase ourknowledge, to become experts in one area or another. Profes-sor Vongdara had the chance to bring his theoretical and prac-tical expertise and knowledge into the politics and executivematters.Tourism is not an easy task. We consider that developing aquality tourism is at the crossroads of many domains of a na-tion’s life. The fine job done by Prof. Vongdara at the head ofthe Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, we considerto be the beginning of a globalization process of Laos tourism,and we hope in the very next future that Laos will become animportant actor not only in the ASEAN and in the neighboringareas, but as a world preferred tourist destination.Also from our hearts again congratulations for being awardedthe highest tourism prize, the World Best Tourist Destinationfor 2013 to the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos by TheEuropean Council on Tourism and Trade.We are congratulating you, Academician Prof. Dr. BosengkhamVongdara ,the newest member of European Tourism Academy.LAUDATIO FOR ACADEMICIAN BOSENGKHAMVONGDARA BY MIRCEA CONSTANTINESCUDIRECTOR OF EUROPEAN TOURISMACADEMY
  14. 14. 14Photo montage by Nicolae NicolaeEUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADEWORLD BEST TOURIST AWARD CEREMONYFORLAOS2013 WINNER-VIENTIANE
  15. 15. 15Photo montage by Nicolae NicolaeEUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADEDELEGATION VISIT IN LAOSWORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION 2013May 2013
  16. 16. 16European TourismAcademy is welcoming anew memberDR. BOSENGKHAMVONGDARAMinister of Culture,Information`s and Tourismof LAO PDRAugust 2013—Professor dr. Anton Caragea will lead an ECTT delega-tion in KazakhstanAugust 2013—WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM CEREMO-NIES in Turkistan, KazakhstanSeptember 2013—WORLD TOURISM DAY celebration at EuropeanCouncil on Tourism and TradeOctober 2013– Autumn Diplomatic Trip in the framework of DISCOVEREUROPE PROGRAM of European Council on Tourism and TradeNovember 2013—Professor dr. Anton Caragea will lead an ECTT dele-gation in TurkmenistanNovember 2013—Professor dr. Anton Caragea will lead an ECTT dele-gation in United Arab EmiratesDecember 2013—The General Meeting of ECTT in Bucharest –Palace ofParliamentUpcoming Events for European TourismEUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM ANDTRADE ( E.C.T.T.)22 Franceza StreetBucharest,Romania0040213157730 ph0040213157730 faxoffice@eucir.com emailwww.ectt.webs.com

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