(KPL) The annual Elephant Festival has been scheduled to take place on February 16-22 in the northwestern province Xayaboury.
The provincial authorities confirmed last week their readiness to host the weeklong event.
Elephant Festival aims to promote the fine traditional customs of Lao people, tourism and the reservation of elephants, according to Director of Xayaboury Provincial Department of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mrs. Sengchanh Vannachith.
In cooperation with ElefantAsia, Xayaboury Province hosted for the first time Elephant Festival in Hongsa district in 2007. Since then the festival has been celebrated annually. The hosting of this event rotates between Hongsa, Paklay and Xayaboury districts.
ElefantAsia, founded by Sebastien Duffillot and Gilles Maurer in 2001, is dedicated to the global conservation and protection of the endangered Asian elephant.
The festival has resulted in an increasing number of accommodation facilities including hotels, guesthouses, resorts, and restaurants, among others over recent years.
In the past, elephants were used for pulling purposes. Today, they are used for light jobs for instance as a life vehicle for touring visitors to beautiful places, said Mrs. Sengchanh.
Sino Lao Company has recently signed an agreement with local mahouts on a tourism project where the mahouts are paid 7.2 million kip a month to tame their elephants so that they become more friendly to visitors.
Xayaboury is reportedly largest habitat for elephants in Laos. The province houses more than 500 elephants.
Source: Lao News Agency