May 24, 2017

International visitors top expenditure of regional tourists

By:  Vientiane Times, May 23, 2017

International tourists have generated a bigger expenditure in the country over regional tourists, even though regional tourist arrivals were 92 percent higher last year.

Vangvieng, Laos

According to a newly released national statistics report from the Tourism Development Department under the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, the number of international tourist arrivals in the country reached over 396,000 people, generating revenue of over US$396 million, while regional tourist arrivals (Asia and Pacific) topped 3.5 million people generating only US$328 million in revenue, with the majority of regional tourists coming from neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, China and Cambodia.

Statistics also showed that revenue from international tourists was higher than regional tourists because their length of stay averaged over 7 days per person with an average daily spend of over US$76 per person.

Meanwhile, tourists from regional countries averaged a stay of one to three days per person, spending anywhere from US$12 to US$52 per day per person. Most regional tourists also had multiple ways of entering Laos at their disposal, including the use of passports, border passes and a “day tripper” pass.

In 2016, the total number of tourist arrivals reached over 4.2 million, which was a decrease from over 4.6 million people in 2015, while the year saw revenue to country at more than US$724 million, a slight reduction from the over US$725 million in revenue in 2015.

Among tourist arrivals, Thailand was still top ranked with over 2 million visitors followed by the Vietnamese with over 1.1 million arrivals. The country also saw over 545,000 Chinese visitors.

Meanwhile, Champassak province was the top ranked destination attracting nearly 400,000 visitors. It was followed by Vientiane province with over 360,000 people, Savannakhet province with over 335,000 visitors and Luang Prabang province with over 173,000 tourists.

In contrast, the report showed that Xieng Khuang province received around 11,000 people, the lowest number of visitors.

To attract more tourists to the country, the government is now trying to advertise its tourism attractions around the country, hoping to increase the number of visitors in the lead up to ‘2018 Visit Laos Year’.

More than 4.8 million tourists are estimated to visit the country this year bringing revenue of over US$843 million, while the number of tourists is also expected to reach over 7.5 million people with over US$1.3 billion in revenue by 2025.

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