Laos is among eight Asian countries with the least favorable conditions for tourism according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) 2022 Travel-ready index.
The index measures the favorability of conditions for tourism based on the importance of tourism to the economy, local vaccination coverage, ease of travel, and the convenience of returning home.
Among Asia Pacific locations, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and the Maldives have the best possibilities for reviving their pandemic-ravaged tourism businesses, while Hong Kong has the worst prospects due to its stringent border restrictions, according to the EIU analysis.
According to the EIU, the index’s top performers have all eased visa and entry requirements since 2021 or earlier.
“A combination of broader and more effective vaccination coverage and greater reliance on tourism have lent themselves to less restrictive travel policies,” the EIU said in its report released on Wednesday.
The index sees Hong Kong taking the bottom place, with Brunei, Bhutan, Taiwan, Samoa, Vanuatu, Japan, China, and Laos ranking as the destinations with the least favorable conditions for tourism.
Thailand, India, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mongolia and South Korea received mid-table rankings for tourism conditions, although the report was released prior to Thailand’s recent abolishment of tests on arrival.