Source: Vientiane Times
The government has announced the promotional Visit Laos Year 2023-2024 and is making in-depth plans to welcome tourists from around Laos and the rest of the world.
Director General of the Tourism Marketing Department, Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Mr. Khom Douangchantha, said yesterday that Visit Laos Year 2023-2024 will be more widely promoted than previous Visit Laos Years, with more details of the program to be announced soon.
The tourism initiative was agreed upon in principle at the government’s monthly meeting on February 24, chaired by Prime Minister Dr. Sonexay Siphandone.
The government has organized previous promotional campaigns to attract tourists, including two Visit Laos Years, Visit Laos-China Year, and Lao Thiao Laos, which drew many visitors, especially from China.
Tourism authorities anticipate that some 368,000 Chinese nationals will visit Laos this year, an increase of 21 percent compared to 2022.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, a total of 1,022,727 Chinese tourists came to Laos in 2019, accounting for 21 percent of the total number of tourists.
Last year, even though the Chinese government had not opened the country’s borders to outbound travel, 45,249 Chinese nationals came to Laos from third countries.
With the opening of China’s borders last month, the country’s citizens are rushing to take advantage of the opportunity to travel. The government has authorized package tours to 20 countries, including Laos.
Last year’s records indicate that more than 1.68 million tourists made trips to Laos, equalling 85.5 percent of the target set for 2022 and generating more than US$219 million in revenue.
Of this figure, 1.06 million people were Lao nationals, equalling 97.2 percent of the target figure, while 644,756 foreign tourists visited Laos, equal to 71.63 percent of the target.
This year the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism hopes to attract at least 1.4 million foreign tourists, despite the huge slump in visitor numbers last year.
During Visit Laos Year 2018, visitor arrivals topped 4.1 million, up 8.2 percent compared to 2017.
During Visit Laos-China Year 2019, Laos welcomed 4.58 million international visitors, representing an increase of 9 percent over 2018.