With government officials strongly promoting tourism on the national agenda, the country is preparing to launch the “Visit Laos Year 2018” campaign in an effort to attract more foreign travelers.
According to the Director General of the Tourism Marketing Department, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Sounh Manivong, the Visit Laos Year 2018 campaign is scheduled to kickoff in November in time for the That Luang Festival, and will be hosting a number of high ranking officials and journalists from other countries.
Additional well-known festivals unique to each province will be highlighted during the launch, including the Blossom Festival in Bokeo Province, the Elephant Festival in Xayaboury Province, and Lao New Year celebrations in Luang Prabang Province.
The proactive push follows a 12 percent decrease in the number of overseas tourist arrivals in Laos, in the first three months of 2017; dropping from 1.24 million visitors in the same period last year to 1.11 million this year.
The first quarter of 2017 saw an 11 percent decrease in the number of ASEAN visitors to Laos, plunging from 866,000 people in the first quarter of 2016, to 763,000 this year.
A significant downtrend has also been recorded for European, African, Middle Eastern and Western Hemisphere travelers visiting Laos in the first quarter of 2017.
Thailand, which dominated the list of foreign arrivals in Laos for several years, indicated a decline in the number of Thai nationals visiting Laos in the first quarter of 2017, dropping from 573,000 people in the same period last year to 498,000 this year.
The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism has suggested to the government to create appealing conditions to attract potential foreign visitors who may consider visiting Laos in the future.