Laos is targeting the EU countries as the top priority for tourists

Published on May 24, 2013

Laos is targeting the three European countries of France, England and Germany as the top priority markets for tourists.

Laos is targeting the three European countries of France, England and Germany as the top priority markets for tourists as their economies remain relatively strong and they are easy to cater to. According to The Director General of the Tourism Marketing Department at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism Saly Phimphinith, visitors from the three countries also stay longer than those from other countries, thus bringing more income to the tourism sector in Laos.

Speaking to our news team after the European Council on Tourism and Trade presented Laos with the council’s award for ‘World’s Best Tourist Destination for 2013’ in Vientiane where attended by Deputy Prime Minister Asang Laoly, who is in charge of social and cultural affairs, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Thongloun Sisoulith, ministers, deputy ministers, governors, businesspeople, members of the diplomatic corps and officials from information, culture and tourism sectors nationwide.

The Director General of the Tourism Marketing Department at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism Saly Phimphinith said, The award demonstrates the great achievements Laos has made in terms of tourism development and all it has to offer in terms of its rich history, culture, traditions and natural beauty.

Interview: Saly Phimphinith, Director General of the Tourism Marketing Department at MICT

The award was presented to Laos by ECTT Chairman Professor Dr Anton Caragea and received on behalf of the government by Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Professor Dr Bosengkham Vongdara. Saly Phimphinith said that, the tourism sector aims to work harder to further promote the major tourism sites in order to attract more tourists from England, France and Germany, he stressed, believing them to be lucrative markets.

Interview: Saly Phimphinith, Director General of the Tourism Marketing Department at MICT

According to Saly Phimphinith, this year, tourism officials as well as tourism operators joined the world’s biggest tourism fair, the Messe Berlin or ITB in Germany from March 6-10. Tourism industry specialists from more than 180 countries around the world attended the fair, so Laos had to do its best to stand out from the crowd. He said, To be more attractive and better promote our country, we should be more clear in the planning of traditional festivals and have a better listing of festival programmes in order to have a permanent schedule which tourists can peruse and know when to come.

According to 2012 statistics from the Tourism Development Department, the market share for Europe decreased from 6.67 per cent in 2011 to 5.58 per cent in 2012, while arrivals from Italy and Spain fell by 10 percent, reflecting their financial difficulties. However, the European market in the three countries of France, England and Germany increased slightly, with arrivals from France up by 6 per cent and Germany by 10 percent, while visitor numbers from England remained stable.

In 2012, there were almost 47,000 tourists from France, more than 35,500 travellers from England and almost 23,500 from Germany.

According to official statistics, the highest number of tourist arrivals in Laos come from Thailand, with over 1.9 million tourists from the neighbouring country crossing the border in 2012 (a 58 per cent of market share) increasing from 1.5 million people the previous year.

Source: LNTV Lao News broadcast on 14/05/2013