Tourism numbers in Laos up 13% in 2013

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Tubing in Vang Vieng, Laos
Tubing in Vang Vieng, Laos

Laos’ Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ Tourism Development Department reported last week that international arrivals to the country had soared 13 per cent to close 3.7 million visits in 2013. The department confirmed 3,779,490 foreign arrivals, up exactly 13.49 per cent.

ASEAN remained the largest source with 3,041,233 visitors, improving 12.12 per cent, dominated by overland travel from neighouring Thailand and Vietnam. Thailand was the top market supplying 2,059,434 visits, up 6.28 per cent versus 2012. Generally, Lao tourism officials view the Thai market as a low earner when compared with the much smaller European market or even China.

The tourism boom between the two countries, especially overland travel, has been attributed to better road networks and bridge links.

The Fourth Mekong Friendship Bridge, that opened last December, spans the river between Chiang Khong in Chiang Rai province, Thailand and Huay Xai in Bokeo province, Laos. It is mainly used by container trucks that ferry exports from China to Thailand.

The construction of the fifth bridge, between Bolikhamxai province of Laos and Bung Kan province in Thailand, is also on the drawing board and there are tentative plans to build a sixth bridge between Saravane province in Laos and Ubon Ratchathani province in Thailand.

Vietnam, the second top source market supplied 910,164, increasing 28.99 per cent. Arrivals from other Asian countries and the Pacific reached 431,878, up 23.87 per cent. China led the field with 245,033 arrivals, gaining 22.60 per cent. It shares a border with Laos and overland travel is expanding mainly to Luang Prabang, via the northwest town of Luang Namtha.

Other main markets were South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Europe represented an increase of 14.40 per cent to 212,566 visits last year. Laos’ top five suppliers from Europe were France, the UK, Germany, Russia and the Netherlands. Arrivals from the Americas grew 13.25 per cent to 85,899 visits. Main source markets were the US and Canada.

The smallest regional market, Africa and the Middle East, grew 8.35 per cent to 7,914 visits.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Tubing in Vang Vieng, Laos

Laos’ Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ Tourism Development Department reported last week that international arrivals to the country had soared 13 per cent to close 3.7 million visits in 2013. The department confirmed 3,779,490 foreign arrivals, up exactly 13.49 per cent.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Tubing in Vang Vieng, Laos
Tubing in Vang Vieng, Laos

Laos’ Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ Tourism Development Department reported last week that international arrivals to the country had soared 13 per cent to close 3.7 million visits in 2013. The department confirmed 3,779,490 foreign arrivals, up exactly 13.49 per cent.

ASEAN remained the largest source with 3,041,233 visitors, improving 12.12 per cent, dominated by overland travel from neighouring Thailand and Vietnam. Thailand was the top market supplying 2,059,434 visits, up 6.28 per cent versus 2012. Generally, Lao tourism officials view the Thai market as a low earner when compared with the much smaller European market or even China.

The tourism boom between the two countries, especially overland travel, has been attributed to better road networks and bridge links.

The Fourth Mekong Friendship Bridge, that opened last December, spans the river between Chiang Khong in Chiang Rai province, Thailand and Huay Xai in Bokeo province, Laos. It is mainly used by container trucks that ferry exports from China to Thailand.

The construction of the fifth bridge, between Bolikhamxai province of Laos and Bung Kan province in Thailand, is also on the drawing board and there are tentative plans to build a sixth bridge between Saravane province in Laos and Ubon Ratchathani province in Thailand.

Vietnam, the second top source market supplied 910,164, increasing 28.99 per cent. Arrivals from other Asian countries and the Pacific reached 431,878, up 23.87 per cent. China led the field with 245,033 arrivals, gaining 22.60 per cent. It shares a border with Laos and overland travel is expanding mainly to Luang Prabang, via the northwest town of Luang Namtha.

Other main markets were South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Europe represented an increase of 14.40 per cent to 212,566 visits last year. Laos’ top five suppliers from Europe were France, the UK, Germany, Russia and the Netherlands. Arrivals from the Americas grew 13.25 per cent to 85,899 visits. Main source markets were the US and Canada.

The smallest regional market, Africa and the Middle East, grew 8.35 per cent to 7,914 visits.

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