Japan’s Kumamoto Bets on Laos for Tourism Boost

Japan’s Kumamoto Bets on Laos for Tourism Boost

The Japanese city of Kumamoto has said it will increase its promotional efforts for new routes that connect the city and Laos amid a drop in the number of passengers who use the city’s airport.

Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau gave the green light in October for Lao Airlines to launch two new routes connecting the Lao capital of Vientiane and the resort town of Luang Prabang with Kumamoto. New routes will be launched on March 18, 2020.

During an interview with local press, an unnamed city official stressed the importance of the new routes to Laos, adding that the city would try its best to attract more visitors to and from Laos.

A total of 7,161 people used the city airport in September, a 41.7 percent drop from the same month last year.

The official cited the stalled relationship between Japan and South Korea and the ongoing protest in Hong Kong as the main reasons that might have contributed to the decrease.

The number of passengers who used routes to South Korean decreased by 24.2 percent from June to September, while that for Hong Kong dropped 19.8 percent during the same period, according to the city.