Politics

Laos hopes for one million tourists after reopening to international visitors

Tha Patuxai Monument in central Vientiane

Laos has partially reopened its border for international tourists on January 1 and is now expecting at least one million fully vaccinated travelers visiting the country this year.

To keep things safe, the country’s tourism ministry has designated “Green Travel Zones” and “Green Travel Trails” – certain destinations within Laos which can be visited. The number of destinations is so far limited to Vientiane, Luang Prabang province and Vang Vieng district and a few travel trails until March 30, but will be increased afterwards in phases.

The popular tourist sites in Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng appear to be filled with activity by “thousands of tourists, Lao and foreign” following the opening of the Laos-China railway, the Vientiane Times noted.

“Improved infrastructure and hotel quality”

In anticipation of the return of tourists, district authorities have improved infrastructure, created new tourism products and taken steps to regulate the price of services and food. The quality of hotels and guesthouses is being checked and those that are considered to be substandard will not be allowed to reopen, the paper wrote.

People are also returning to Luang Prabang, especially on weekends, with most arriving by train. Tickets to the town are sold out each day, Laos’ state news agency  reported.

Overall, the reopening of tourism destinations combined with the opportunities that the new railway brings would further attract at least 1.9 million domestic tourists in 2022, Laos’ deputy prime minister Sonexay Siphandone told the National Assembly.

Regulations and requirements for entry

Currently, fully vaccinated visitors from 31 nations are allowed to enter Laos for tourism purposes.

The countries are: China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, France, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Denmark, Belgium, Israel, US, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

The entry requirements are quite similar to Thailand former “Test & Go” programme:

  • Travelers are required to have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 no less than 14 days prior to arrival.
  • A negative RT-PCR test has to be taken within the last 72 hours.
  • A health insurance policy with coverage no less than $50,000 is compulsory.
  • Travelers are required to download and register via the “LaoKYC” and the “LaoStaySafe” mobile applications prior to arriving in the country, as well as upload their relevant vaccination certification and Covid-19 test results.
  • Upon arrival travelers are required to be tested for Covid-19 and placed in a 24-hour quarantine in their hotel while waiting for the results.
  • All visitors to Laos must pre-book a tour that is allowed to operate in one of the designated green travel zones.
  • All visitors have to enter the country either at Vientiane International or through the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge at the border in Nong Khai. Other entry points will be added at a later point of time.
  • When traveling around Laos, everyone must follow the standard health and safety requirements.
  • Services such as restaurants, hotels, guesthouses and coffee shops are currently allowed to operate, but under strict social distancing instructions. Entertainment establishments such as karaoke bars, casinos, game shops and nightclubs remain closed throughout the country.


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Tha Patuxai Monument in central Vientiane Laos has partially reopened its border for international tourists on January 1 and is now expecting at least one million fully vaccinated travelers visiting the country this year. To keep things safe, the country’s tourism ministry has designated “Green Travel Zones” and “Green Travel Trails” – certain destinations within Laos which can be visited. The number of destinations is so far limited to Vientiane, Luang Prabang province and Vang Vieng district and a few travel trails until March 30, but will be increased afterwards in phases. The popular tourist sites…

Tha Patuxai Monument in central Vientiane

Laos has partially reopened its border for international tourists on January 1 and is now expecting at least one million fully vaccinated travelers visiting the country this year.

To keep things safe, the country’s tourism ministry has designated “Green Travel Zones” and “Green Travel Trails” – certain destinations within Laos which can be visited. The number of destinations is so far limited to Vientiane, Luang Prabang province and Vang Vieng district and a few travel trails until March 30, but will be increased afterwards in phases.

The popular tourist sites in Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng appear to be filled with activity by “thousands of tourists, Lao and foreign” following the opening of the Laos-China railway, the Vientiane Times noted.

“Improved infrastructure and hotel quality”

In anticipation of the return of tourists, district authorities have improved infrastructure, created new tourism products and taken steps to regulate the price of services and food. The quality of hotels and guesthouses is being checked and those that are considered to be substandard will not be allowed to reopen, the paper wrote.

People are also returning to Luang Prabang, especially on weekends, with most arriving by train. Tickets to the town are sold out each day, Laos’ state news agency  reported.

Overall, the reopening of tourism destinations combined with the opportunities that the new railway brings would further attract at least 1.9 million domestic tourists in 2022, Laos’ deputy prime minister Sonexay Siphandone told the National Assembly.

Regulations and requirements for entry

Currently, fully vaccinated visitors from 31 nations are allowed to enter Laos for tourism purposes.

The countries are: China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, France, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Denmark, Belgium, Israel, US, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

The entry requirements are quite similar to Thailand former “Test & Go” programme:

  • Travelers are required to have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 no less than 14 days prior to arrival.
  • A negative RT-PCR test has to be taken within the last 72 hours.
  • A health insurance policy with coverage no less than $50,000 is compulsory.
  • Travelers are required to download and register via the “LaoKYC” and the “LaoStaySafe” mobile applications prior to arriving in the country, as well as upload their relevant vaccination certification and Covid-19 test results.
  • Upon arrival travelers are required to be tested for Covid-19 and placed in a 24-hour quarantine in their hotel while waiting for the results.
  • All visitors to Laos must pre-book a tour that is allowed to operate in one of the designated green travel zones.
  • All visitors have to enter the country either at Vientiane International or through the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge at the border in Nong Khai. Other entry points will be added at a later point of time.
  • When traveling around Laos, everyone must follow the standard health and safety requirements.
  • Services such as restaurants, hotels, guesthouses and coffee shops are currently allowed to operate, but under strict social distancing instructions. Entertainment establishments such as karaoke bars, casinos, game shops and nightclubs remain closed throughout the country.


Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

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