Vientiane.- With an annually 22 percent arrival increase, Lao People’s Democratic Republic was awarded the World’s Best Tourist Destination for 2013 prize, a recognition granted by the European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT).
The country’s initiatives at preserving culture and history and raising the quality of tourism services were cited as the main reasons for receiving the award. Last year, the Asian nation welcomed 3.3 million passengers. At present, the tourism sector is the second largest income earner in Lao PDR.
According to the ECCT, a non-profit organization promoting tourism outside the European Union, the “World Best Tourist Destination is the highest honor to be awarded for a country for achievements in tourism.
This award is offered to the countries that are complying with United Nations Tourism Division, UNESCO and European Council on Tourism and Trade principles on fair tourism, ethical tourism and safety standards and historic preservation of cultural sites.”
Also on the New York Times’ list of the world’s top tourist destinations, Lao received the ECTT award in recognition of its preservation of the country’s historical, cultural and religious patrimony and its community-based nature friendly tourism.