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- December 5, 2019 1:59 PM
VIENTIANE -- The number of Chinese visitors has surged in northern Laos' Luang Prabang province, with room reservations expected to rise throughout 2023, said Lao officials.
Local daily Vientiane Times on Wednesday quoted Vice President of the Hotel and Guesthouse Association in Luang Prabang province Daophet Bouphaphanh as saying that groups of Chinese tourists are entering Laos overland, traveling in organized convoys and individual vehicles.
The number of Chinese tourists has surged in Laos since the Chinese government lifted travel restrictions on its citizens and authorized outbound travel on Jan. 8, with a huge upswing in visitor numbers expected in the coming months.
In response to the anticipated visitor influx, Daophet said the province's tourism authorities are teaming up with other entities to improve accommodation and hospitality services.
He noted that most hoteliers had plenty of experience and were well-prepared to deal with large numbers of tourists.
Many hotels and restaurants in the popular tourist hotspot are hiring staff who can speak both English and Chinese to cater to visitors from north of the border and numerous other countries.
Authorities at the Boten International Checkpoint in Luang Namtha province also confirmed that many more Chinese nationals were entering Laos.
Observers say that when the China-Laos Railway is further extended, hundreds of thousands more Chinese tourists will come to Laos, according to the report.
Laos has been ranked by several media organizations as one of the world's top travel destinations for 2023.
Luang Prabang province, some 220 km north of the Lao capital Vientiane, is one of the most well-known provinces in Laos and is a top tourist draw because of its old temples, scenic attractions and rural landscapes.
Luang Prabang was listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a world heritage in 1995.