Laos welcomes a million visitors

VIENTIANE, Laos, 31 May 2023: The ASEAN Tourism Forum will be hosted in Vientiane from 22 to 27 January 2024 and has adopted the theme ‘Quality and Responsible Tourism-Sustaining Asean Future’ according to the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism.

ATF and the accompanying trade mart, Travex, attract around 800 delegates; 200 government officials from 10 nations, approximately 400 travel content providers, and 200 international travel buyers.

The 10 ASEAN nations host the event in an alphabetical rotation between Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Indonesia hosted the event in January 2023.

Last week the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism released provisional travel data for the first four months of  2023, which saw the country welcome 1,114,950 tourists from January to April.

The country managed just 1,294,338 visitors in 2022 as Covid-19 travel restrictions eased during the year’s second half. In 2019 Laos welcomed 4.79 million visitors.

The visitor arrival data released by the ministry’s Tourism Development Department show the top supply markets for the four months were Thailand generating 430,979 visits, followed by Vietnam with 244,461, China with 223,350, Korea with 57,189, and the US with 22,713. It confirms the traditional top pre-Covid era source markets are now in recovery mode as far as Laos is concerned.

By region, tourists from the Asia-Pacific tallied 360,530; Europe 78,258 and the Americas 31,755. The ASEAN community generated 694,263 visits. Visits from Malaysia, which stood at 4,709 during the first four months of the year, should grow during the year’s second half once AirAsia starts direct daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to Vientiane this June.