Laos gears up to welcome influx of Chinese tourists in 2023

By TIN Media | International Published 3 months ago on 31 May 2023
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To speed the tourism sector's recovery following three years of the bad effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, Laos is getting ready to receive more Chinese tour groups.

Since Laos was approved by the Chinese government for outbound group tours, the Lao government and corporate sector have been preparing for the arrival of a sizable number of Chinese tourists.

Since the Chinese government loosened travel restrictions on its nationals and authorized outbound travel early this year, the number of Chinese visitors visiting Laos has progressively climbed.

Ounthuang Khaophan, the deputy minister of information, culture, and tourism for Laos, was quoted on Monday by Lao National Radio as saying during a meeting on preparations for Chinese tourists that was held in the Lao capital Vientiane last Friday that the Chinese tourism market is a significant source of income and as a result, many countries have been engaged in promotion schemes to attract Chinese tourists.

Additionally, the Lao government has been enhancing tourism-related goods and modernizing the sector to appeal to the Chinese market.

The China-Laos Railway, which makes it quick and easy to travel between Laos and China, as well as the expansion of flights between Vientiane, the capital of Laos, and other Chinese cities, have all contributed to the growth of this sector, according to Ounthuang.

To wow them and entice them to visit again, Laos is building many facilities and services to welcome Chinese tourists, according to Phonemaly Inthaphome, director general of the Tourism Development Department under the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism.

The Lao government has established a fast-track customs and immigration service unit at the Boten border crossing in the Luang Namtha region of northern Laos to make cross-border travel for railway passengers easier.

Train tickets are now easier to find, and border crossing entry and exit procedures have been enhanced, according to Phonemaly.

The Lao government has produced a Chinese-language tourism video, given tour guides training in the language, and placed signposts with information about tourist attractions in Chinese, English, and Lao at the entry to tourist destinations along the China-Laos Railway.

Laos has also organized a program to entice Chinese business operators to visit tourist areas in Laos, participated in a tourism exhibition in China, and sponsored a seminar to promote Lao- Chinese tourism.

1,022,727 Chinese tourists visited Laos in 2019, making up about 21% of all visitors before the Covid-19 outbreak struck the Southeast Asian nation in early 2020. 45,249 Chinese tourists visited Laos in 2022.

More than 831,000 foreign tourists visited Laos in the first three months of 2023, with visitors

from Thailand, Vietnam, China, and South Korea leading the list.

The Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism has gathered statistics that reveal that, of the total number of arrivals, 344,405 tourists were from Thailand, nearly 180,000 from Vietnam, 143,312 from China, and 45,756 from South Korea.


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