Under Party leadership, Laos is among many countries in the world that are working hard to promote tourism

Introduction: Under Party leadership, Laos is among many countries in the world that are working hard to promote tourism. This special report is one of a series telecasts in LNTV English News Bulentin to mark the 60th anniversary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party on March 22.

Story: The Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and the government are constantly boosting the development and promotion of the tourism sector. The work of this sector is one of the government’s 11 priority plans to help the country earn revenue and create jobs.

Under Party leadership, the tourism sector believes it will become one of the main drivers of economic growth and a significant contributor to poverty reduction.

Under the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, the tourism sector is moving forward and setting up a strategy plan for the period until 2020 in order to fullfil the directives of the Party and government.

Laos is among many countries in the world that are working hard to promote tourism. There is a strong commitment to this sector because it has the potential to become a major source of income to power development and raise Laos from Least Developed Country status.

The tourism sector has had more success in driving economic growth than other sectors and the people involved have never stopped working to ensure it remains a major engine of growth. Tourism is now the country’s second largest source of income after mining. There has been continuous growth in the number of tourist arrivals over the past two decades, with visitors attracted by the country’s natural, historic and archaeological charms.

Laos is the proud possessor of two world heritage sites. The town of Luang Prabang was listed by UNESCO in 1995, followed by Vat Phou Champassak in 2001.

Tourism officials are currently preparing to submit a proposal to UN ESCO to request that the Plain of Jars in Xieng Khuang province and Phou Hin Nam Nor (limestone pillars) in Khammuan province also be listed as world heritage sites.

The tourism industry is not standing still. Its vision for development and promotion in the strategy plan for 2011-2020 is “Develop Lao tourism to be sustainable; become a tourist destination for people from around the world; integrate with tourism regionally and internationally; develop and promote tourism so that it becomes the leading sector of the economy and enables people to say goodbye to poverty by following government policy.”

The strategy is targeting 4 million visitors in 2020 and earnings of at least US$760 million. Another goal is to encourage visitors to stay in the country for at least 10 days on average.

In addition, the sector will try to develop tourism products along the lines of the ‘One district, one product’ scheme in every province and create facilities to link all parts of the country before 2020. It also aims to finish building facilities at 200 tourism sites and to build markets in 30 tourism areas, as well as set up visitor information offices at all international border crossings by 2020.

Tourism is one of the most important drivers of growth for Laos. It brings in substantial foreign currency, boosts tourism-related business, spurs the development of infrastructure, creates job opportunities, and generates income for local com munities.

Source: Lao National Television News in English
Broadcast on March 20, 2015