Lao Tourism Arrivals Soar:
Lao tourism arrivals jumped 22.8 per cent in the first half of 2011 to hit 1,485,462, 80 per cent of which are from Thailand and Vietnam, according to the Lao National Tourism Administration (LNTA). Other ASEAN countries showed strong growth of 29.53 per cent.
LNTA predicts this year's tourist arrivals will climb 6 per cent to reach 2,662,556, who are expected to spend USD399,122,419 for a 4.6 per cent increase over 2010.
Thailand's tally jumped 19.13 per cent to hit 865,308 during the first half, while Vietnam's total skyrocketed 70.59 per cent to 328,490.
TTRWeekly reported that although ASEAN arrivals have a much lower daily spend than long-haul visitors, they travel all year round and inject a steady flow of revenue into the Lao tourism industry.
Europe (+4.33 per cent), the Americas (+3.17 per cent), and Africa and Middle East (+14.41 per cent) all posted gains, while arrivals from Asia and Pacific excluding ASEAN slipped 4.65 per cent.
Third-ranked China saw its numbers tumble 16.98 per cent to 76,271, and No. 4 USA eased back 0.04 per cent to 25,493. France (+0.62 per cent, 21,436), Japan (+13.85 per cent, 18,249), the UK (+5.42 per cent, 18,217), Korea (+31.39 per cent, 16,536), Australia (+0.81 per cent, 15,838), and Germany (-3.59 per cent, 11,584) rounded out the top 10.