Tourism in Laos doesn’t come into gear

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Reclining Buddha in Laos © Arno Maierbrugger

The government of Laos is set to revise its expectations for tourism arrivals this year after it has become unlikely that the country will receive the envisaged five million visitor arrivals for 2018, let alone the expected more than $900 million in tourism proceeds.

According to Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, who spoke at the 11th Lao Business Forum held in Vientiane on July 5, a mid-year summary had shown that less than two million foreign tourists had visited the country so far this year.

The target of welcoming five million visitors has been set after kicking off the Visit Laos Year 2018 promotional campaign, local daily Vientiane Times reported.

“We still face challenges in reaching five million visitors as the current figure for mid-year is not even touching two million,” he said, pinning his hopes on the upcoming high season.

Sisoulith noted that the government is working in collaboration with concerned ministries to promote tourism, but challenges remain for the government and ministries. He was also hopeful that there would be good weather conditions and a pleasant environment during the remaining six months of 2018 so that incoming foreign tourists would enjoy their stay in Laos.

The Lao government has said it is committed to prioritising the development of tourism as it plays a vital role in developing its domestic economy through job creation, community development and incentivising environmental protection measures.

There are also plans to introduce an e-visa option next year as replacement for the visa-on-arrival procedure to simplify entry requirements for potential visitors.

The tourism industry’s share of Laos’ GDP was $2 billion, or 13.7 percent of GDP, in 2017. This meant it lagged behind its neighbouring countries, such as Cambodia with $5.5 billion, or 28.3 per cent of GDP, or Thailand with $82.5 billion, or 20.6 per cent of GDP.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Reclining Buddha in Laos © Arno Maierbrugger

The government of Laos is set to revise its expectations for tourism arrivals this year after it has become unlikely that the country will receive the envisaged five million visitor arrivals for 2018, let alone the expected more than $900 million in tourism proceeds.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Reclining Buddha in Laos © Arno Maierbrugger

The government of Laos is set to revise its expectations for tourism arrivals this year after it has become unlikely that the country will receive the envisaged five million visitor arrivals for 2018, let alone the expected more than $900 million in tourism proceeds.

According to Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, who spoke at the 11th Lao Business Forum held in Vientiane on July 5, a mid-year summary had shown that less than two million foreign tourists had visited the country so far this year.

The target of welcoming five million visitors has been set after kicking off the Visit Laos Year 2018 promotional campaign, local daily Vientiane Times reported.

“We still face challenges in reaching five million visitors as the current figure for mid-year is not even touching two million,” he said, pinning his hopes on the upcoming high season.

Sisoulith noted that the government is working in collaboration with concerned ministries to promote tourism, but challenges remain for the government and ministries. He was also hopeful that there would be good weather conditions and a pleasant environment during the remaining six months of 2018 so that incoming foreign tourists would enjoy their stay in Laos.

The Lao government has said it is committed to prioritising the development of tourism as it plays a vital role in developing its domestic economy through job creation, community development and incentivising environmental protection measures.

There are also plans to introduce an e-visa option next year as replacement for the visa-on-arrival procedure to simplify entry requirements for potential visitors.

The tourism industry’s share of Laos’ GDP was $2 billion, or 13.7 percent of GDP, in 2017. This meant it lagged behind its neighbouring countries, such as Cambodia with $5.5 billion, or 28.3 per cent of GDP, or Thailand with $82.5 billion, or 20.6 per cent of GDP.

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