Tourism and hospitality businesses in Laos are bracing for an influx of Thai holidaymakers over the weekend as the neighboring Kingdom celebrates a six-day holiday.
Thailand’s caretaker cabinet recently announced an additional holiday on Monday, 31 July, creating a six-day weekend for Thai citizens.
This decision aims to promote travel and tourism, with three existing government holidays adding to the long weekend. The upcoming holidays include the birthday of His Majesty the King on 28 July, Asahna Bucha on 1 August, and Buddhist Lent Day on Wednesday.
The cabinet intends for the extended weekend to encourage Thai people to travel and spend money, thereby stimulating the local economy.
But nearby Laos, with its similar topography, language, and way of life to Thailand has become an increasingly popular destination for Thai tourists. In 2022, Laos was the third most searched country on Google Trends by Thai people.
During May and July of the previous year, Laos was able to register approximately 250,000 Thai travelers visiting the country to ride the newly-opened Laos-China railway. According to government officials, the influx of tourists generated an additional 800 million baht during this period.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) also unveiled a national tourism strategy focusing on high-value and sustainable tourism for 2024 last week. This strategy prioritizes overland travel via the Laos-China Railway, which connects China, Laos, and Thailand, aiming to enhance connectivity and boost tourism between the three nations.