Laos Urges Thailand to Extend Border Hours

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In an attempt to maximize further opportunities for tourism in both countries, Laos has strategically requested Thailand for longer hours at border checkpoints.

Lao tourism operators are urging Thai government officials to consider extending closing hours from 10PM to midnight at all border checkpoints linked to Laos. In a recent meeting with the Tourism and Sports Minister for Thailand, both countries discussed more tourism cooperation between the two.

Laos presented the notion that if border checkpoint hours were extended, tourists traveling to Thailand through Laos would also be able to spend more time in either country.

In addition to extending checkpoint hours, Laos is urging Thailand to consider investing in more accommodations in the country. Thailand and Laos have been driving cross-border tourism for years, both promoting the “Two countries one destination” campaign to attract tourists from other countries.

Laos and Thailand both play a big part in stimulating each other’s economy. An estimated 1.4 million Lao nationals crossed into Thailand last year, ranking Laos as the fifth largest source of international arrivals for the country. While 2 million Thai nationals visited Laos in 2016, representing half of the 4 million foreign visitors recorded. Of the 2 million, an estimated 70% of Thai’s spent at least one night in Laos, while 600,000 made day trips.

Both countries are actively discussing the possibility of opening two more border checkpoints in Chiang Rai and Phayao in the Northern Thailand.