Laos' National Tourism Administration expects more tourists to visit Laos in 2010 because it will be the 450th anniversary of the founding of Vientiane capital, and Laos' tourism industry will continue to grow after that.
The Chairman of the Lao National Tourism Administration, Minister Somphong Monkhonvilay, expressed confidence that Laos' tourism industry will continue to grow. Despite the fact that Laos was affected by the global financial crisis like many other countries in the previous years, there were as many as 1.8 million tourists traveling to Laos during the 2008-09 fiscal year, which brought about over $290 million of incomes in foreign exchanges to this business, while only 1.7 million tourists entered Laos during the previous fiscal year, 2007-08.
In addition, Lao National Tourism Administration authorities expect to attract as many as 2 million tourists who will surely help generate over $320 million for this industry during the fiscal year of 2009-2010. To meet this target, authorities will utilize the celebration of the 450th anniversary of the founding of Vientiane capital as the main venue for attracting more tourists to the country, and this event will be advertised during the ongoing 25th SEA Games.
Authorities also estimate that the 25th SEA Games have attracted over 60,000 tourists to Vientiane and that, they believe, has set a milestone for Laos' long-term tourism development goal, which aims to attract as many as 3.4 millions tourists in 2015, and generate more than $500 million from the tourism industry.
The Lao National Tourism Administration further believes that, if everything goes as planned, the tourism industry will continue to grow and attract as many as 4 million tourists in 2020, which will enable tourism businesses to generate as much as $700 million in revenues, and create as many as 300 thousand jobs for Lao people.
To accomplish this goal, Lao authorities will focus on promoting ecotourism, which relies mainly on the promotion and preservation of Lao historical, cultural and natural resources.