VIENTIANE, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Laos has been seeking to attract
more Chinese tourists after noticing the large numbers of Chinese
people who travel overseas and the large sums of money they spend,
local media reported on Friday.
"Laos should target more Chinese tourists because they are
high-end customers and spend a lot," Lao state-run Vientiane Times
on Friday quoted Lao Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism
Bosengkham Vongdara as saying at an annual meeting of the
information, culture and tourism sector held recently in capital
According to statistics from the ministry's tourism sector,
China ranked third in terms of the number of people visiting Laos
in 2016. Some 399,556 Chinese nationals came to Laos from January
to September in 2016. In 2011, the number of Chinese tourists
visiting Laos was recorded at 150,791 people and the figure has
steadily increased since then.
China is one of Laos' five neighboring countries, with the
others being Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar.
But tourism operators and specialists say Laos needs to develop
its tourism market to meet the demands of Chinese customers.
Supporting factors such as transportation, services, and tourist
sites must be upgraded, while it is also necessary to address the
problems that perennially cause difficulties for visitors,
according to Vientiane Times.
Xanglao Travel Sole Co., Ltd. Director Vilaysone Louangaphay
said on Vientiane Times that in order to fully welcome large
numbers of Chinese people the tourism sector needs to study their
Vilaysone said service standards are something that
entrepreneurs must improve, stressing that restaurants, hospitality
facilities and transport operators must engender trust among their
Meanwhile, Director of the Information, Culture and Tourism
Department in northern Oudomxay province Phonsavanh Phanthavichit
said Oudomxay authorities had met with related sectors in three
northern provinces that share borders with China, those being Luang
Namtha, Bokeo and Phongsaly, to seek consensus in solving issues
that impact the tourism climate.
Oudomxay authorities have also discussed with their Chinese
counterparts efforts to encourage Chinese companies to invest in
various sectors in the province, including tourism.
Phonsavanh said the department will continue to work with
hospitality businesses, tourist site operators and restaurant
owners to upgrade their services and infrastructure to facilitate
Chinese people are interested in Lao culture and the lifestyle
of ethnic groups, so these areas should be highlighted as part of
Laos' sales pitch, said the official. Enditem