Lao Tourists Form Vietnam’s Third Largest Growing Tourist Market in 2023

Tourists walk along Gold Bridge on Ba Na hill near Da Nang city, Vietnam (Photo: VOA)

Lao tourist arrivals in Vietnam soared in the first half of the year, with a growth rate of 117%, which is the third-highest rate among all global tourist arrivals to Vietnam, following Cambodia (338%) and India (236%).

The most popular destinations for foreign tourists in Vietnam until June 2023 were the central beach city of Da Nang, the ancient town of Hoi An, Da Lat, known as the city of a thousand flowers in the Central Highlands, Nha Trang, Vung Tau, and the “Paradise Pearl Island” of Phu Quoc.

According to VietnamPlus, the surge in international tourist arrivals is a sign of Vietnam’s post-pandemic recovery. Many Laotians, as well as Cambodians, also visit Vietnam for medical purposes.

In the face of increasing tourism, Vietnam has also seen an acute electricity shortage this year, with hospitality businesses in the country’s popular northern town of Ha Long reporting mass cancellations of hotel bookings during this peak season due to power outages.

On the other hand, Laos saw the arrival of more than 1 million foreign tourists in the first 4 months of 2023, which was an impressive increase compared to 1.3 million tourists in all of 2022. At 224,461, Vietnamese visitors made up the second-largest group of foreign tourists after Thailand.

In Luang Prabang alone, the province recorded nearly 400,000 international tourists from January to May this year, and the province’s five-year tourism plan hopes to attract 4 million tourists by 2025.

The steady growth in Lao tourist arrivals in Vietnam is a positive sign for both countries’ tourism industries and a testament to the close ties between the two nations.