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Lao tourism officials discuss ways to attract more visitors

VIENTIANE, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Lao government officials, businesses and tour operators are engaged in discussions and preparations to launch the Visit Laos Year 2024 campaign to attract more visitors and boost its tourism sector.

A meeting to discuss the Visit Laos Year 2024 was held in the Lao capital Vientiane on Thursday, attended by Lao government officials and other individuals.

During the meeting, participants shared ideas on creating a colorful tourism program to introduce visitors to Laos' various attractions.

The main targets of the tourism development vision for 2021-2025 include raising standards among tourism personnel and improving infrastructure and facilities at tourist sites, Lao National TV on Friday quoted Phonemaly Inthaphome, the director of the Tourism Development Department under the Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, as saying.

Laos is placing its hopes on the China-Laos Railway as a means of transporting tourists to some of the country's most popular attractions.

The start of cross-border services on the China-Laos Railway boosted the number of tourists coming to Laos from China. The railway is a very popular means of travel and passes through the provinces of Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Oudomxay, which have many places of interest to tourists, including adventure activities.

The Lao government has organized promotional campaigns to attract tourists, including Visit Laos-China Year and Lao Thiao Lao (Lao Visit Laos program), attracting many visitors, especially from China.

In the first four months of 2023, more than 1.11 million foreign tourists visited Laos, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.

The largest number of visitors came from Thailand, with 430,979, followed by Vietnam at 224,461 and China at 223,350.

In 2023, the Lao government has made tourism a top priority in efforts to revitalize the economy and aims to attract at least 1.4 million foreign tourists.