Thais still top tourists to Laos

Thais still top tourists to Laos

Visitors from Thailand continued to dominate the tourism sector in neighbouring Laos last year.

A municipal worker sweeps along a pathway near the Mekong River in Vientiane. The Lao capital is one the most popular places for Thai tourists. (AP photo)

Almost 2 million tourists from Thailand visited Laos, making them the highest number of foreign visitors last year, the Vientiane Times reported on Wednesday, citing statistics from the Lao Information, Culture and Tourism Ministry.

The newspaper did not give the number of Thai tourists visiting the country in 2012 for comparison.

Tourists to Laos last year totalled 3.77 million, almost 400,000 more than the country projected. That figure has also broken the 2015 forecast of 3.7 million visitors.

Visitors from Asean, including Thailand, totalled 3.04 million last year, a jump from 2.7 million in 2012.

The figure also broke its 2015 forecast.

Tourists from other Asean member countries continue to make up the largest number of foreign visitors arriving in Laos compared to other regions, and the number is increasing constantly.

Laos also witnessed an increase in tourist arrivals from Europe, from more than 185,000 to more than 212,000, the Americas from 75,800 to 85,900 and the Middle East from more than 7,000 to almost 8,000.

The most popular places for Thais are Vientiane, Savannakhet and Luang Prabang, according to the Thai embassy in Laos.

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