Laos authorities have closed seven bars along the Xong River in Vang Vieng in an effort to lock down drug and alcohol fuelled dangerous water sports and promote the popular tubing spot as a safe ecotourism destination.Seven bars along the river were closed after authorities found they were serving tourists alcoholic drinks laced with opium and hallucinogenic mushrooms, according to the Vientiane Times.An explosion in popularity of Vang Vieng among backpackers seeking tubing – floating down the river in inner tubes while drinking – has brought an unsavory reputation to the area after several deaths on the river in the past year.At least six tourists died from accidents on the river so far this year with sources agreeing a majority of these accidents involved alcohol.Vang Vieng tourism office head Phouvieng Sikaisone said authorities have launched a safety campaign engaging some of the 100 resorts, restaurants and bars line the Xong River to inform tourists of what “they should and shouldn’t do”.“Some of these restaurant staff have also been taught first aid to deal with accidents on the river,” Mr Phouvieng Sikaisone. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched development schemes worth INR 1,000 crore for Daman and Diu and inaugurated Air Odisha’s flight connecting Ahmedabad to the coastal town of Diu, under the Centre’s Regional Connectivity Scheme – UDAN. He also launched a helicopter service connecting Daman and Diu.“The air connectivity will boost tourism as tourists who want to visit the Somnath temple, Gir Forest (in Gujarat) can now easily fly there from Diu,” Modi said.Somnath temple and Gir forest are located around 80 kilometres from Diu. Ahmedabad to Diu road journey takes 12 hours and the air-connectivity reduces the travel time to just an hour.Modi said that his government has launched schemes worth around INR 1,000 crore for the development of Daman and Diu.He also laid the foundation stones for a slew of projects, including a water treatment plant, a gas pipeline, an electric sub-station, a municipal market and a foot-bridge for the union territory. Anganwadis (child care centres) and schools constructed under corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives were also inaugurated by the PM. On the occasion, he distributed e-rickshaws to women and scooters to differently-abled beneficiaries.