Vientiane (VNA) –
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.
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 755 million USD 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
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. -VNA