The country’s poorly funded and executed marketing campaign had little to do with the tourism boom; visa exemptions and added airline links to Korea, Cambodia, and China led to the 14 percent visitor increase.
Tourism officials believe visits to Laos will top 3.1 million in 2012, up by 14% compared to 2011.
“The forecast of 3.1 million visitors is our lowest projection and I think we can expect even more than that,” he added. Laos has enjoyed robust tourism growth in recent years that could lead to some readjustments of the country’s long range business targets.
“We will need to revise forecasts,” Mr Soun said, after seeing the rapid growth. He attributed the high figure to government policies that ease travel through visa exemptions and more airline links.