VIENTIANE, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Lao government hopes to attract 1.4 million domestic and foreign visitors this year, which is expected to generate more than 340 million U.S. dollars.
Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Suanesavanh Vignaket urged relevant officials to work harder to strengthen tourism operations, improve local infrastructure, and create new tourism products, the Lao News Agency (KPL) reported on Tuesday.
Suanesavanh told a two-day meeting that the ministry will coordinate with central and local authorities on planning tourism development, as well as upgrade tourism sites and improve the quality of hotels and guesthouses to meet ASEAN standards.
Lao Thiao Lao, or Lao Visit Laos program, continues in 2023, with the government hoping to continue attracting domestic tourists as well as visitors from abroad.
The campaign was launched in 2020 to encourage Laos to travel within the Southeast Asian country.
Meanwhile, Laos has begun preparing for the arrival of Chinese tourists after it was listed among 20 countries greenlit by the Chinese government for outbound group tours.
The Lao Airlines plans to operate more flights to welcome Chinese tourists. The airline currently operates three flights a week from the Lao capital Vientiane to Kunming in southwest China's Yunnan Province.
It is set to launch additional flights from Vientiane to Chinese cities of Guangzhou, Shanghai, Chengdu, Changzhou and Hangzhou.
The airline also mulls increasing flights from the northern Luang Prabang province and the southern Champasak province to China, according to the report.