Over a Million Tourists Visit Laos This Year

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Tourism in Luang Prabang
A tourist rides a bicycle in Luang Prabang

Laos has seen an increasing number of visitors traveling to the country ever since it removed its travel restrictions in May following the Covid-19 crisis.

Laos recorded over a million tourists traveling in the country between January to September, resulting in a 39 percent rise in visitors compared to last year. A total of 644,756 international visitors are also included in the figures, primarily from Thailand and Vietnam.

Statistics have shown that the average visitor on a group tour usually stays in the country for 2.5 days and spends roughly USD 45 per day. On the other hand, people on individual trips, stay for 7.9 days on average and spend around USD 83 daily.

Tourism authorities are expecting to receive over USD 225 million in revenue from local and international tourists this year. They are also increasing their effort to revitalize tourism-related businesses and generate income to reduce poverty levels.

The Tourism Management Department of the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism held a meeting on Tuesday, to discuss the current situation regarding accommodation and restaurant facilities being offered around popular tourist destinations.

The meeting saw attendance from the department’s Director General, Ms. Darany Phommavongsa, who represented Vientiane and the provinces of Vientiane, Xaysomboun, Borikhamxay, Khammuan and Savannakhet, and other interested parties.

Ms. Darany informed that various challenges must be dealt with, primarily related to immigration procedures at border crossings, transport, accommodation, and food to ensure a seamless stay for travelers.

The discussion also looked at ways tourism can be modernized and streamlined in the country, in accordance with green and sustainable development targets.

The government is hopeful of attracting 900,000 foreign visitors this year, which could generate over USD 218 million in revenue. It could also help Laos to restore its foreign currency reserves to an extent, which is vital for importing essential goods.

The Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism have developed the Lao Tourism Development Strategic Plan for 2021-2025, which is in line with the government’s policy of promoting the country’s natural, cultural, historical, and agricultural attractions to strengthen ‘green tourism’ and its sustainability.