Laos

Organize Laos tourism promotion conference. 2018 is the “Year of Tourism in Laos”, promoting tourism with temple ruins, ancient cities of the dynasty era and other world heritage sites-Travel Observation

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Japan ASEAN Center Holds “Laos Tourism Promotion Seminar”

On May 28, the ASEAN-Japan Center held the “Laos Tourism Promotion Seminar” and invited people related to the tourism industry to participate. The Lao government has designated 2018 as the “Laos Tourism Year”, focusing on attracting tourists and planning to hold various activities throughout the year. The purpose of the workshop is to promote the development of new tourism products by providing tourism information about Laos.

Mr. Masataka Fujita, Secretary-General of the ASEAN-Japan Center, who came on stage on behalf of the organizer, mentioned the geographical features of Laos in his opening remarks. Laos is the only landlocked country not facing the sea among the 10 member states of ASEAN, bordering China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. “This is a peaceful country symbolized by the abundance and well-being of the Mekong River. It has recently become a hot topic because of the title of Haruki Murakami’s travel notes.”

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Mr. Masataka Fujita, Secretary General of ASEAN-Japan Center

Lao Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Bosengkham Vongdara said, “Tourism is growing rapidly in many countries, but the Lao government also sees it as an important pillar of economic development. We also have connections and we will cooperate with Japan and ASEAN countries. In 2015, Laos and Japan celebrated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. The number of Japanese tourists to Laos was 42,000 in 2012 and 49,000 in 2016, showing an upward trend, but it has shrunk to 32,000 in 2017, saying it wants to recover .

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Mr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism of Laos

Mr. Sounh Manivong, Director of Marketing, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism of Laos, introduced the tourism industry in Laos. Tourism resources are the three pillars of nature, culture, and history. The number of tourists in Laos has grown steadily from about 2.7 million in 2011 to about 4.2 million in 2016, but Japanese tourists are also increasing. In 2017, the number of tourists from all over the world decreased to about 3.9 million.

Mr Manibong pointed to three reasons: insufficient infrastructure making it difficult to visit tourist attractions, lack of overseas public relations, and no direct flights to Laos. However, he also pointed out that infrastructure development can be boosted by boosting tourism. As for PR, the Lao Festival has been held in Japan since 2007, and in 2018 it was held at Yoyogi Park on May 26-27.

The famous tourist attractions in Laos include the old city “Luang Prabang”, which was the capital of the Lancang Dynasty from the 14th to the 18th century and was listed as a world cultural heritage, and the temple site “Wat”, which is also a world cultural heritage.・Phu (Vat Phou)”. The Plain of Jars, where countless stone jars are lined up, is also aiming to be included in the World Heritage List. The origin of the plain of jars is still in the research stage, and there are various theories. It was used as a tombstone etc.

Japanese nationals do not need a visa (visa-free) for sightseeing in Laos for up to 15 days, and a visa on arrival obtained at the airport allows a stay of 30 days. There are direct flights to Laos from South Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, but there are currently no direct flights from Japan.

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Mr. Sounh Manivong, Marketing Director, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Laos

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Lao coffee and tea were prepared at the venue, and participants were free to taste them.

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