What do you think will be the benefits of the joint Visit Laos-China Year 2019?

Laos and China are lining up an exciting programme of events for next year with promotional activities planned for the main cities in each country, including tourism fairs and business-matching events, while the two countries are also looking at ways to speed up the provision of tourist visas at border crossings. Vientiane Times asked members of the public for their thoughts on this unprecedented venture between Laos and China.

Phouthong Sivongsa

Ms Deuanphen Thepphathai, a student at the National University of Laos: China is a huge country with a population of over 1.3 billion. I think more and more Chinese people are becoming familiar with Laos and its tourism opportunities. I think the joint programme will mean that our tourist facilities will be improved, because Chinese investors have a lot of money and will want to develop the tourism industry in Laos. It also means that people here will be able to get jobs if there are a lot more tourists. In the past, for example, tourism in Vangvieng district was small-scale and the locals didn’t benefit much but now their lives have changed for the better because the area is a top tourist destination. The joint promotion between Laos and China will bring the two countries closer so we can get to know more about each other’s way of life.

Ms Nalin Phongsavanh, a student at the National University of Laos:  I think it’s a good idea because it means Laos stands to earn a lot of money from Chinese visitors. It’s good for hoteliers and the people who sell goods at tourist sites. And if foreigners spend a lot of money here it will benefit the economy too. Chinese visitors will get to know about the Lao way of life and our culture, which will help Laos become more widely known internationally.
Mr Keosavanh Keuabsaengchanh, a student at the National University of Laos: I think it will mean that our tourist attractions will become better known and also improved because we can benefit from China’s own experience and expertise in the field of tourism and overall development. They can provide us with modern technology to help speed up our development of tourism. It will strengthen cooperation between Laos and China in many ways, and will be good for our relationship and future development.

Ms Lien, a resident of Xaythany district, Vientiane:  I don’t know much about this venture but I think it will be good for both Laos and China, and will enhance the tourism industry in both countries. It’s easy for people in Laos to visit China and vice versa. I’m a farmer and I’ve never been to China but hope to go there someday, and may this will be a good opportunity. I think it will be easier to enter and exit each other’s country because the Lao and Chinese governments will streamline the visa issuing process.

Mr Xutxay Keomany, a vendor in Sikhottabong district, Vientiane: First of all we need to consider the security of visitors and the way that visas will be issued and regulated, as well as how we will advertise our visitor attractions. I think we should start advertising a major tourist programme like this at least a year before it begins, as I think it’s better to prepare all the necessary facilities first and then roll out the programme itself. Everyone needs to plan a vacation well in advance, as they need to save up money first and make hotel bookings before they travel. However, I’m certain that the joint tourism project will be very successful.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update November 13, 2018)

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