Laos identifies tourism objectives

VIENTIANE, 20 April 2017: Lao PDR’s Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism plans to develop tourist attractions across the country through to 2020 to offer more travel choices and attract more visitors to the country.

Vientiane Times quoted the ministry’s tourism development department general deputy director, Phonemaly Inthaphom, saying the ministry has signed off on a development plan of tourism sites with local authorities.

“Each province will have to develop 20 tourism sites through the fiscal years 2013 to 2020, meanwhile the ministry will develop 23 tourism sites.”

Currently, Laos has more than 1,900 tourism sites – including developed and undeveloped sites – across the country. They include natural, historical and cultural tourism spots.

“Undeveloped sites do not even have roads to access the tourism sites and are not officially open to the public…Laos has a wide range of tourism sites, but lacks development funds is still an issue.”

The number of international tourists visiting Laos decreased by 10% from over 4.68 million in 2015 to 4.2 million last year.

The reduction has been attributed to the decline in Thai and Vietnamese visits, two markets that contribute 50% of all foreign visitors to Laos.

Last year, tourism also injected more than USD724 million dropped slightly from the more than USD725 million generated by the sector in 2015, according to data from the Tourism Development Department.