Lao PM Orders Exploration of Multiple-Entry Tourist Visas to Boost Tourism

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Lao Prime Minister Orders Exploration of Multiple-Entry Tourist Visas to Boost Tourism
Tourists visiting the Patuxai victory monument (photo: Kaikeo Saiyasane)

In a bid to bolster tourism and grow the country’s foreign currency reserves, Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone has issued a government notice instructing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to explore the possibility of introducing multiple-entry tourist visas.

The government notice, issued by Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, has generated significant interest and anticipation regarding the potential introduction of multiple-entry tourist visas in Laos. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to stimulate tourism and boost the influx of foreign currencies into the country.

Under the section titled “Measures to attract foreign currencies,” the Prime Minister has specifically tasked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) with studying and formulating policies for multiple-entry tourist visas. Notably, these policies may include the issuance of unilateral visas to countries keen on promoting tourism to and from Laos.

While this directive holds significant promise for enhancing Laos’ tourism sector, MOFA has refrained from disclosing detailed information, including eligibility criteria, at this stage. An official from MOFA has indicated that extensive research and deliberation are currently in the works before any specific guidelines can be unveiled.

This development reflects the government’s commitment to exploring innovative approaches to revitalize the tourism industry and promote economic growth in Laos. Multiple-entry tourist visas, if implemented, could potentially make Laos a more accessible and attractive destination for travelers, especially as the Lao government currently prepares for Visit Laos Year 2024 planning to attract 4.6 million visitors throughout the year, with a revenue target of USD 712 million.