The Luang Prabang administration has granted a South Korean company concession to build a 27-hole golf course and a 200-room resort hotel in the Chomphet district area. The project, estimated to cost more than 20 million dollars, is expected to complete in 2010.
Administration authorities say they will very soon start evacuation of some 700 households from five villages in the Chomphet area so that the 300-hectare lot, about 8 km west of Luang Prabang, can be transferred to the South Korean company. Officials indicate that over 80% of the households have agreed to evacuate. In return, they will receive a compensation of $2,500 per one hectare of land. The provincial government has alloted a budget of seven billion kips for compensation to the villagers.
The concession granted to the South Korean company is part of the Luang Prabang administration's efforts to promote tourism in one of Laos' World Heritage sites. Tourism officials say over two hundred thousand foreign and domestic tourists visited Luang Prabang in 2007, adding they expect the number to increase to more than three hundred thousands this year, with more than two hundred thousands foreign tourists.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details in Lao.