VIENTIANE, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Laos is gearing up to submit its World Heritage Luang Prabang town as a contender to receive the ASEAN Clean Tourist City Standard (ACTCS) in early 2018.

The town was holding its third meeting from Monday to Wednesday to discuss an application, Deputy Director of the Tourism Development Department under the Information, Culture and Tourism Ministry, Phonemaly Inthaphome, told local Vientiane Times on Wednesday.

"Next year, we want to improve our chances of meeting the criteria before the final assessment in September, before we submit our application to ASEAN," she said.

According to an international survey of 2,800 visitors in 2015, carried out by the Tourism Development Department, 83 percent of foreign tourists who visit Laos wanted to see Luang Prabang.

The survey was conducted at Wattay International Airport in Lao capital Vientiane, the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge on entry into Vientiane, and in Luang Prabang and Champassak provinces.

Luang Prabang was most foreign visitors' first choice because of its ancient and attractive temples and the activities of the monks who live in these temples.

Visitors also cited the town's character and the fact that the local lifestyle was readily observable and accessible.

People in the province assiduously preserve their traditions through festivals and rituals such as Lao New Year, the Boat Racing Festival and other temple-based activities.

It was these features that led UNESCO to list the town as a World Heritage Site in 1995.