The ATF-Travex event had more than 490 stands from 354 companies and properties across the 10 exhibiting ASEAN countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, LaoPDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Laos is a nation of 6.26 million people and it shares borders with five countries: China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. In 2011 the country attracted 2.19 million international visitors.
The economy is growing at a rate of 8% per annum and they operate an open door policy, with visa on arrival available at all four international airports. There are also 17 land access points. The cost of a visa on arrival is US$35.
The mighty Mekong River, ‘the mother of rivers’, is the heart of Lao, as it flows slowly from north to south.
Vientiane has Wattay International airport with connections to other Asian countries. Lao Airlines has several daily flights to Luang Prabang as well as other domestic destinations.
Investment in tourism infrastructure continues apace with new hotels opening and more in the planning stage.
There are also plans to build new regional airports to open up some of the more remote parts of the country. One of these is in Attapeu in the south and another in Viengxray in Huaphan province.
Projected visitor numbers for 2013 are 2.9 million and 3.6 million in 2015, with 4.2 million expected in 2020.