Kuangsi waterfall in Luang Prabang.

What can be done to ensure Visit Lao Year 2018 achieves its goals?

During the first six months of the Visit Laos Year 2018 campaign, the nation welcomed more than 2 million visitors, an increase of 6 percent over the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism. However, the government has set an annual target of 5 million visitors and generating more than US$900 million through the promotional campaign. Vientiane Times asked folks from locales across the country what we should focus on to achieve tourism goals.

Mr Meytee Thadthate, a resident of Huayxai district, Bokeo province: Huayxai in Bokeo has many interesting places to visit that aren’t well-known. Tourists only know about the Gibbon Experience so now they only stay two or three days and then leave. Authorities should really promote other places, especially the public tourism sites that belong to the government. We should try to encourage more visitors to get out of the city so they can visit some ethnic group villages and study their lifestyles. Villagers can also produce handicrafts for visitors which can generate income for the local people.

Ms Nidda Kongpheng, a resident of Luang Prabang province: Luang Prabang doesn’t really need more promotion because it’s already well-known and most visitors like to come if they make a trip in Laos. However, when it comes to service it’s important that we look after visitors so they enjoy their stay and make them feel safe. I also worry about Luang Prabang’s recent direction and if there is too much tourism. I feel we have to preserve our natural areas for the future and keep the city as original as possible because I think the visitors like it that way.

Ms Peely Intha, a resident of Vangvieng district, Vientiane province: Now is the start of the tourism high season everywhere in Laos but the roads are quite bad and this has a big impact on tourism. Authorities should really take action about this problem. We should undertake more promotion of Visit Laos Year and make it easier for foreign visitors to get into the country and also make them feel safe during their travels such as protecting them from robbery and corruption.

Ms Souknaly, a resident of Vientiane: What we really need to know first is what foreign tourists know about our country and what interests them to come and then we should try to get them easier arrival visas. Everything about tourism should be better organised, especially transport services.  Tuk tuks, buses and taxi services should be controlled more effectively and we should be welcoming to visitors. The food should be clean and not too expensive and Lao and foreigners should get charged the same price. We should also try to give them clear information about where to go, what to do and what to eat.

ByTimes Reporters
(Latest Update September 29, 2018)

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