VIENTIANE, 31 August 2015: Chinese visitors represent the third largest segment of foreign visitors to Lao PDR, following visitors from Thailand and Vietnam.
In the not-so-distant future it is very likely that China will surpass Thailand and Vietnam as the top supply market for travel.
Lao News Agency quoted Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Chaleun Warinthrasak, saying more than 420,000 Chinese tourists visited Laos in 2014, representing an increase of 72% from 2013.
The number of Chinese visitors has increased annually from 199,000 in 2012, to 145,000 in 2013, and 422,000 last year.
The increase was attributed to the opening of several direct flights between Laos and China including Vientiane-Shantou, Vientiane-Kunming, Vientiane-Changzhou, Vientiane-Guangzhou, and Luang Prabang-Xieng Houng.
Lao Airlines recently opened an office in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan province in China. It will operate twice weekly flights on Monday and Friday connecting Vientiane to Changsha starting the end of September.
“Relations and cooperation between the two countries of Laos and China have grown continuously and created favourable conditions for people-to-people exchanges between the two countries,” he said.
Last year, the country attracted more than 4.1 million international tourist arrivals increasing 10% from 2013.