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Preparations intensify for expected influx of tourists 

Authorities are working closely with hospitality businesses and tour operators to facilitate and welcome foreign tourists following the full reopening of the country starting on May 9.
The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism on Monday instructed its provincial departments to work with the relevant sectors to make proper preparations for the arrival of tourists.
The ministry is encouraging hospitality businesses to participate in LaoSafe – an initiative that assesses and certifies business service standards in order to create customer confidence. Guidance on ways to fulfil the set criteria can be found at: https://www.tourismlaos.org/join-laosafe/.
The ministry is also calling for information to be circulated among tourists regarding the entry and exit rules, so they are familiar with the requirements, understand the changes, and can make the necessary preparations.
Under the country’s new entry and exit rules announced by the government, visitors no longer need to take an RT-PCR test prior to departure and Covid-19 insurance is now not required. There is also no need for an ATK test at border crossings if visitors are fully vaccinated. Instead, they need only show a vaccination certificate.
Quarantine and registration on the Lao Green Pass website ‘laogreenpass.gov.la’ to certify vaccination status and a RT-PCR test result are also no longer mandatory.
Nationals of countries that have signed bilateral or unilateral visa waiver agreements with Laos no longer need to apply for a visa. Instead, visas can be obtained upon arrival in Laos, and e-visas (electronic visas) can be applied for online.
People who have not been fully vaccinated are required to take a Covid-19 ATK test within 48 hours of departure for Laos, except children under the age of 12.
To reach out to and attract more foreign tourists, the ministry called for all hospitality and tourism related businesses to advertise their services and products, while the media will launch a publicity campaign.  
Following the government’s announcement on the country’s reopening, international border crossings have resumed operation.
On Monday morning – the first day of full reopening - at least 100 people crossed the first Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge from Vientiane into Thailand. The bridge is the main land border crossing between Vientiane and Nong Khai province in Thailand.
In the other direction, almost 300 people entered Laos across the bridge from Thailand. 
Meanwhile, Lao Airlines – the national flag carrier - plans to increase flights from two to three a week between Vientiane and Bangkok, starting on May 22. The airline also plans to increase flights to Incheon International Airport in the Republic of Korea. 


 


By Times Reporters
 (Latest Update May 11, 2022)


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