The number of tourists visiting Laos totaled only 3.86 million last year, some 8.73 percent less than in 2016, according to statistics revealed by the Tourist Development Department, Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism.
Tourism from Europe dropped by 27 percent, while those from America dropped by 26 percent.
Meanwhile, tourism from ASEAN countries also declined to only 2.74 million; 11 percent less than the previous year.
Thailand, itself normally the largest source of tourism for Laos, saw a drop of 11 percent as well.
Mr Bounthavy Sisava, Deputy Director of the Tourism Research and Administrative Division, says that the department is studying the drop in tourism and will attempt to further analyze data to better understand the problem.
He suggested that a lack of tourist attractions in some provinces, poor quality services, and substandard tourism products could be the reason behind the tourism slump.
To attack this problem head-on, the government launched the Visit Laos Year 2018 initiative to promote tourism and attract more visitors to Laos. The initiative highlights activities and local festivals spread across various provinces.