Laos Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh says his country's tourism industry has expanded at an average rate of 26.7% since 1991, with the number of tourists increasing to more than 1.2 million in 2006, bringing in over 173 million dollars in revenues.
Mr. Bouasone said that in 1991, the number of foreign tourists visiting his country was less than 40,000. That number increased to over 700,000 in 2000, reaching over 1.2 million last year. He added that tourism growth has spurred expansion in other sectors of the economy such as agricultural productions, handicrafts, and others. The prime minister also expressed confidence that the number of foreign tourists will reach 1.3 million by the end of 2007.
Laos is aiming to become the tourism hub of the Greater Mekong Sub-region by the year 2020, and has adopted a tourism promotion plan toward achieving that goal.
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