The United Nations Economic, Scientific, and Cultural Organization is sending a delegation to Luang Prabang, Laos' former royal capital, next month to review its World Heritage status.
The UNESCO delegation will determine whether the city has maintained its traditional, cultural and architectural heritage. The status review is done every ten years after a place has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. If a city has completely changed into a metropolitan area, its World Heritage status will be withdrawn. An example of this is Thailand's northern city of Chiangmai.
Lao authorities are confident that Luang Prabang will retain its world famous status. Luang Prabang's governor says his city still maintains all its cultural and architectural charms and beauties even though it has been developed as a major tourist destination.
According to the governor, Mr. Bounheuang Duangprachanh, there are now 17 hotels, 146 guest houses, and some 190 cultural and historical tourist attractions in Luang Prabang.
Listen to our Laos Today for more details in Lao.