Russia Eyes Tourism Ties With Laos

Russian Amabssador to Laos Vladimir A. Kalinin meets Tourism Minister Suanesavanh Vignaket
Russian Amabssador to Laos Vladimir A. Kalinin meets Lao Tourism Minister Suanesavanh Vignaket (Photo: Pasaxon).

Russia has expressed an interest in developing tourism with Laos, seeking to enable Lao and Russian citizens to more easily visit each other’s countries.

Vientiane Times reports that Ambassador Vladimir A. Kalinin of the Russian Federation to Laos recently held talks with Lao Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Mrs. Suanesavanh Vignaket, to discuss tourism links.

Ambassador Vladimir requested that Russian language be added to the Lao tourism website, suggesting that Russia would add Lao language to its own national tourism portal as well. This way people in both countries could more easily access information about each other’s tourism attractions.

He also suggested that tour operators in Laos and Russia cooperate more closely to strengthen ties in tourism.

In 2019, some 12,054 Russian tourists visited Laos out of a total of 4,791,065 visitors, according to the Ministry’s Statistical Report on Tourism in Laos.

The two sides also discussed the ASEAN Single Window Visa, which would allow Russian citizens to more easily visit Laos and other ASEAN countries.

Russia also hopes to sign a cultural cooperation agreement with Laos, which may be completed during the upcoming Laos-Russia Joint Commission Meeting, where trade, economic, and technological cooperation is discussed and enhanced.

The country’s foreign minister, Mr. Sergey Lavrov, visited Laos in July last year, pledging to increase cooperation in various fields including military affairs and science and technology.

Russia and Laos also maintain cooperation in the spheres of culture and education, with the Russian Cultural and Scientific Centre reopening in 2013 after it had been closed for more than 20 years.

Russia was one of the first countries to donate Covid-19 vaccines to Laos, as well as announcing it will provide a USD 12 million upgrade to Mittaphab Hospital, one of Laos’ major central hospitals.