Laos will declare 2023-2024 as Lao Tourism Year and make elaborate plans to attract visitors as the country prepares to host the ASEAN Summit in 2024.
Laos recorded almost 1.3 million tourists in 2022 and the country hopes to attract 1.4 million visitors in 2023 with an estimated 368,000 visitors from China after the country reopened its borders in January this year.
The decision to declare the Lao Tourism Year was announced at a recent cabinet meeting, where the government discussed ways to address economic woes plaguing the country.
According to information from Government Spokesperson, Ms. Thipphakone Chanthavongsa, the government will also take steps to make public transport more accessible, especially by streamlining ticket sales on the Laos-China Railway.
There will also be a focus on the timely completion of road and airport construction projects, and the repair of important highways damaged by natural disasters.
To assist in tourism efforts, the government will take steps to address the chronic labor shortage in the hospitality industry as well.
In another meeting on tourism chaired by Mr. Phosy Keomanivong, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism, relevant officials discussed ways to highlight Laos as an attractive tourist destination to an international market.
Aspects like improving travel within the country, tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants, travel companies, tour guides, gift shops, services, and security, as well as streamlining entry and exit procedures were discussed by the authorities.