Laos strives to develop tourism

The Lao Government’s decision to make 2018 the year of Lao tourism has produced positive results, particularly an 8.2 percent increase in the number of foreign visitors, said Lao Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Bosengkham Vongdala. 
Pha That Luang, located in Vientiane, is Laos' most important monument (Source: cnn)
Pha That Luang, located in Vientiane, is Laos' most important monument (Source: cnn)
Addressing a February 11 conference reviewing tourism promotion in 2018, the minister said more than 4.1 million visitors travelled to Laos last year, generating more than US$755 million in revenue for the State budget.
According to him, all localities across the country held various tourism promotion activities to attract both domestic and foreign tourists.
The Lao Government has also issued policies designed to develop tourism, including the exemption of visa during the Tourism Year for visitors from four countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Kuwait. In addition, it allocated money from the budget to repair and upgrade infrastructure in tourism sites.
At the same time, the conference called on the Government to do more to bolster tourism growth.
Minister Bosengkham Vongdala said many tourism sites in Laos are under-developed and only accessible in dry season, while entry and exit procedures remain cumbersome.
He urged continued reform of administrative procedures, especially those related to entry and exit in order to facilitate visitors, and suggested reducing or exempting visa fees for tourists from target markets.
The minister also noted the need for strict rules on prices of services, hotels and goods sold at tourism sites to prevent overcharging of tourists.
He affirmed that the Lao Government considers tourism an important economic sector and developing tourism is the task of all sectors and branches from central to local levels as well as of all enterprises and citizens.

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