Vang Vieng, Lao PDR

Laos claws back tourist arrivals

Laos got its tourist arrivals back on track in 2019 reporting a headcount of 4.58 million, up 9% after a below target showing in 2018.

Reported initially by the Vientiane Times, the data was released earlier this week by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism’s director-general of the tourism marketing department, Sounh Manivong.

He is expected to release full details of an annual report during a press briefing scheduled for the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Brunei later this month.

He told the Vientiane Times that a 27% boost in tourist arrivals from China that crept past the 1 million total for the first time ensured Laos reversed a negative trend apparent since 2015.

In 2018, Laos welcomed 4,186,432 visits up 8.2%, but the performance was off-target despite a Visit Laos Year promotion.  A banner year for tourism, 2015 recorded the strongest performance clocking up 4,684,429 visits.

Despite gains in the China market, Thailand remains the top source market increasing 6%, while Vietnamese visitors now a major driver of tourism to the country increased by 11%.

Other notable markets included the US and the UK both improving by 22%, the French market up 11% and Germany 13%.

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