Laos to Prioritize Vietnam and China When Restarting International Tourism

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Tourists visit a waterfall in Luang Prabang
Tourists visit a waterfall in Luang Prabang.

Laos has said it will prioritize international tourists from Vietnam, China, and other ASEAN countries when it reopens borders to international tourists.

Deputy Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Mr. Ounthuang Khaophan, told Vietnamese media on 27 October that tourists from neighboring countries will be first considered for entry into Laos.

Vietnam, China, and ASEAN countries will be at the top of the list after Laos has vaccinated at least 50 percent of its population against Covid-19.

It hopes to reach a 50 percent vaccination rate by the end of 2021, having now managed to vaccinate just over 38 percent of its people.

“Therefore, the country has yet to set a date to welcome the return of vaccinated foreign tourists,” the deputy minister said.

At the same time, senior officials said earlier this week that Laos may trial group golf tours provided to South Korean nationals, with charter flights running to and from Incheon International Airport.

The golf tours would see fully vaccinated Korean golfers enter Laos and enjoy a nine-day golfing package that would allow them to golf at two courses in Vientiane Capital.

While Laos has been added to a list of 72 countries approved by Vietnam for entry into the country upon its reopening, it is notably missing from a list of countries approved for travel into neighboring Thailand.