84 foreign tourists have visited the capital Vientiane since the government launched its plan to reopen the green travel zone in January. Four tour operators in the capital facilitated the arrival of foreign visitors, mainly from South Korea.
Tourists from the Philippines, the Netherlands, Thailand, and Japan also visited Laos this year, as well as Laotians living abroad.
The director of the Vientiane Capital Department of Information, Culture and Tourism, Ms. Vilayvone Chanthalaty, said that all 84 foreign tourists who arrived in Vientiane Capital had complied with the Covid-19 prevention measures and protocol, including undergoing Covid-19 tests upon arrival.
The foreign tourists stayed at accredited hotels under the Lao Safe program, according to Ms. Vilayvone, and visited sites in the capital city of Vientiane, including the That Luang Stupa, Phakeo Temple, Sisaket Temple, Patuxay Victory Monument, and the Nam Pien Yorla Pa resort.
Authorities believe that the first 84 arrivals are a good start to the program. More than 100 South Korean tourists had booked tours to Laos, but had to cancel their reservations due to changes in the Covid-19 measures imposed by the South Korean government, which called for a ten-day quarantine upon their return.
At the same time, Laos had hoped to give foreign visitors a 24-hour waiting period for Covid-19 test results upon arrival, but delays meant that this period had to be extended to 48 hours, wasting valuable time for visitors.
Ms. Vilayvone said the capital Vientiane hopes to attract 300,000 foreign visitors by the end of the year if there is no further major outbreak of Covid-19.