Officials say Visit Laos-China Year 2019 Likely to Happen
With Visit Laos Year 2018 officially launched, talks of possibly introducing a Visit Laos-China Year 2019 have arose.
A minister has confirmed that Lao officials have discussed with their Chinese counterparts to push forward a plan to jointly introduce Visit Laos-China Year 2019.
The Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Prof. Dr Bosengkham Vongdara told the ongoing 4th Ordinary Session of the National Assembly’s 8th Legislature, “The launch of the Visit Laos-China Year 2019 campaign is highly possible.”
Chinese Ambassador to Laos, Wang Wentian, recently stated to Lao and Chinese media that thanks to the country’s long history, stunning scenery and fascinating attractions, combined with sincere and hospitable people who welcome visitors, Laos has a lot to offer foreign tourists.
Laos received an estimated 4.23 million visitors in 2016, and more than 700,000 were Chinese tourists on holiday.
Although Laos and China have both benefited from sound cooperation from tourism in past years, the ambassador highlighted that there was a potential to increase the number of Chinese visitors to Laos. Currently, an estimated 120 million Chinese take vacations abroad each year on average, and are dominating the global tourism market.
“If just one percent of Chinese outbound tourists came to Laos, the country would receive as many as 1.2 million Chinese visitors a year,” Ambassador Wang stated. In light of this potential, the ambassador said he initiated the idea of jointly launching Visit Laos-China Year 2019.
Though the initiative is still in its infancy stages and has yet to be approved, the ambassador remains confident that through the efforts of both sides, the proposal will be welcomed. He also mentioned that his embassy fully supports the concept and would assist in running a publicity campaign in China to promote Lao tourism, particularly during Visit Laos Year 2018.
“The proposed launch of Visit Laos-China Year 2019 is a lead-up to the completion of the Laos-China railway,” he added, referring to the slated completion date of 2021.
Ambassador Wang indicated that a promotion aimed at bringing more Chinese visitors to Laos would be the most effective use of the Laos-China railway.
Source: Asia News Network