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Laos expects 1.8 million foreign visitors this year

(KPL) Laos expects to welcome 1.8 million international arrivals by the end of 2008, earning about 250 million USD, said the national tourism body’s report.

According to the Laos National Tourism Administration, nearly 1.4 million travellers have visited Laos in the first 10 months of 2008, a 3 percent rise over the corresponding period last year.

Over the recent past, Laos has scaled up investments in infrastructure to make it more attractive in the eyes of foreigners, such as in upgrade of Louang Namtha airport, national road No. 3, construction of the second bridge over Mekong River linking Laos and Thailand, improvement of the nation’s telecommunications and tourism services as well as building new spots of tourist attrations.

The Lao government has decided to give nationals from all ASEAN nations, except Myanmar, the visa waiver and directly provide one-month visa application procedure for foreigners at 16 border gates.

In 2007, Laos welcomed over 1.62 million visitors, up 34 percent compared with 2006, fetching 233 million USD to the national budget.

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