Lao outbound trips tip 3 million

VIENTIANE, 17 March 2017: Lao PDR’s Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism’s Tourism Development Department reports Lao citizens made 3.05 million trips in 2016.

Vientiane Times quoted the department’s statistics unit that monitored a slight decrease of 0.3% when compared with more than 3.06 million trips in 2015 and a decline of 7.58% on 3.3 million trips registered in 2014.

However, the number of Lao nationals booking air travel increased slightly.

Lao nationals travelling through Wattay International Airport climbed to 81,800 in 2016, up 0.91% from 81,064 in 2015 and a 6.25% increase over 76,985 trips in 2014.

However, information regarding their spending and the length of their stay was not collected or researched.

Around 1.46 million trips representing, almost half of the total, were registered at the Laos-Thailand Friendship Bridge’s border gate at Nong Khai.

The statistics, collected from 14 international checkpoints across the country, showed Lao provinces sharing borders with Thailand registered the highest trips, but there was no information on where they were heading.

Tour operators in Vientiane said package tours to South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Japan were the most popular with Lao citizens, but most of the outbound trips were independently booked with low-cost airlines and hotels online with no details of the final destinations beyond Thailand.