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ATF is taking place in Vientiane, Laos from 22-27 January 2023. Keen to be part of this exciting event?
Laos Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Suanesavanh
Vignaket, talks to Travel Weekly Asia about the country’s preparations
for ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2024.
It’s exciting that Laos is hosting ATF 2024. What’s new for Laos?
Laos is very proud to be the host of ATF 2024, gearing up for this wonderful event by establishing the committees and secretariat
to coordinate with all relevant sectors to identify roles and
responsibilities such as the event programming, facility improvement,
meeting venues, accommodation, tourist attractions, restaurants,
transportation, and reception services to make this ATF successful and
achieve the goals.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism has signed the Travex Agreement with ASEANTA (ASEAN Tourism Association) to manage the tourism exhibition for ATF 2024, which is themed “Quality and Responsible Tourism – Sustaining ASEAN Future”.
What makes Laos unique as a destination?
I extend a warm welcome to each of you to visit Laos and personally experience the beauty that our country has to offer.
Laos boasts a wealth of natural tourism attractions, steeped in rich
traditions and customs, a diverse tapestry of ethnic cultures, friendly
and hospitable people, a distinctive culinary heritage, and is home to
world heritage sites namely Luang Prabang, Plain of Jars in Xiengkhaung
Province, and Vat Phou Temple in Champasak Province.
Moreover, Laos now has the Laos-China Railway to facilitate travel and transportation within the country.
What are the focus areas for tourism development in Laos?
The government of Laos has identified tourism as a key economic
sector in the country. To translate this policy into implementation, the
Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism has been focused on
enhancing tourism legislation, which not only seeks to improve tourism
management but also aims to promote and attract more domestic and
What are the projections for visitor numbers to Laos in 2023/24?
We expect around 2.5 million international tourists to visit Laos in
2023. For 2024, we expect to welcome around 2.7 million international
tourists. Our primary focus remains on the ASEAN member states, which
are a major target market for Laos. Following closely are countries
within Asia Pacific, including China, South Korea, and Japan.
Furthermore, we also receive tourists from Europe, America and the
What’s your message to visitors to Laos?
In 2024, Laos will assume the chair of ASEAN Summit, playing host to ATF and launching the Visit Laos Year.
The government of Laos has undertaken significant efforts to enhance
tourism infrastructure, facilities, transportation, and a diverse range
of tourism activities and products, as well as upgrading the quality of
tourism services to meet international standards. Taking this
opportunity, I extend a warm welcome to each of you to visit Laos and
personally experience the beauty that our country has to offer.