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International visitor numbers soar by 9 percent in 2019

Laos welcomed 4.58 million international visitors last year, representing growth of 9 percent over 2018 when tourist numbers failed to reach the target.
Director General of the Tourism Marketing Department under the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Sounh Manivong, said last week that much of the success was due to the Visit Laos-China Year 2019 campaign.
Chinese tourists alone increased by 27 percent or 1.02 million.
Luang Prabang featured in the New York Times 52 places to go edition of its travel section in 2018, and this resulted in further tourist interest in Laos.
Visitors from Thailand – the main source of Laos’ tourists – rose by 6 percent while Vietnamese visitors increased by 11 percent.
Tourist arrivals from many high-end countries also increased, with the number coming from the USA rising by 22 percent, while visitors from the United Kingdom also increased by 22 percent.
The number of French visitors rose by 11 percent, while German tourists increased by 13 percent.
In comparison, visitor numbers from the Republic of Korea dropped by 1 percent, the number from Denmark fell by 27 percent, Swiss visitors declined by 18 percent, and the number from Finland plummeted by 28 percent.
Laos’ Luang Prabang ranks 11th in Architectural Digest’s annual list of the top 20 places to travel in 2020, which will help push the department’s target of 4.9 million visitors for this year.
Nevertheless, the Tourism Marketing Department will continue promoting Laos at major international tourism exhibitions in China and Europe.
According to the Tourism Development Department, Laos has 670 hotels, 2,432 guesthouses and resorts, 2,646 restaurants and 305 entertainment venues. There are numerous officially designated tourist attractions including 1,318 nature-based sites, 596 places of cultural interest, and 294 places of historical significance.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update January 8, 2020)

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