According to a 2017 Tourism Department (MOICT) report, it was observed that the month of November was Laos’ best tourism month, which had seen 358,997 people visiting the country, with December coming in close at second place with a little over 357,000 people.
Third place went to March with over 355,000 visitors and the fourth best month was February with over 350,000, followed by April with just over 346,000 visitors.
It was noted that November was the start of the cool season, when it’s not too hot and not too cold. This is the month when most Europeans visit Laos.
The lowest number of tourist arrivals was recorded in September (approximately 262,000 visitors), which is a time of fairly heavy rainfall.
The report also ranked tourist arrivals by port of entry. The first Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge in Vientiane recorded the most visitors with over 863,000 tourists, followed by the second Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge in Savannakhet with over 517,000 visitors.
The Boten-Bohan border crossing between Laos and China in Luang Namtha province recorded over 493,000 visitors, while Wattay International Airport registered a surprising 364,000 arrivals.
In 2017, over 1.7 million Thais came to visit Laos, making them the largest tourist nationality. Vietnamese tourists came in second with over 891,000. There were just over 639,000 Chinese tourists and about 170,000 Korean visitors.
The total number of visitors to Laos increased every year from 1990 to 2015. In 2016, the number dropped by 9.6 percent (4.2 million tourists) and there was a further drop of 8.6 percent in 2017, when there were only 3.8 million visitors.
Laos expects to welcome 5 million visitors during Visit Laos Year 2018 and is targeting tourism revenue in excess of US$900 million.