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Improve Key Factors To Boost Tourism Industry, Economist Suggests

Source: Vientiane Times

Laos needs to make improvements in several important areas to facilitate the return of foreign tourists following the country’s inclusion in the National Geographic’s list of 25 top travel destinations for 2023.

This was the suggestion from a leading Lao economist after one of the world’s most widely read magazines included Laos as the only country from the Asean region in its list of top breathtaking places and experiences for 2023.

Dr Phouphet Kyophilavong, a senior economist at the National University of Laos (NUOL), told Vientiane Times last week that several important things have to be done by Laos, including improving the skills of tourism personnel, provision of funds for capacity-building projects, and other essential related activities.

“Most importantly, more inbound flights should be started and the number of countries eligible for visa-free travel should be increased. More eligible countries should be listed for online visa applications, and of course, the stay permit should be extended from two weeks to two or three months,” he said.

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Dr Phouphet, who is the Dean of NUOL’s Faculty of Economics and Business Management, said permission for multiple entry visas is a great option for Laos to attract more travellers from across the world.

Laos was included by National Geographic among the 25 top travel destinations for 2023 for several reasons, including its natural beauty, traditions, culture, and access to land transportation networks, especially the Laos-China Railway.

“It is surely positive for Laos to be selected as one of the 25 top travel destinations, which will certainly generate income for local people and promote trade and investment,” Dr Phouphet said, adding that this will gradually contribute to the development of the nation’s economy.

Laos has huge potential to generate more income from tourism due to the country’s natural beauty and historical and cultural places of interest.

Therefore, the government plans to diversify tourism-related activities and products, while making use of local culture and agricultural potential to promote Lao products.

Currently, the public and private sectors are working together to organise festivals and trade and tourism fairs as part of the government’s efforts to boost post-Covid-19 economic recovery.

The economist also advised the government to constantly remove more barriers and improve the tourism business climate in the years ahead to attract more investments from within Laos and from foreign countries.