Soaring Chinese Arrivals Prompt Tourism Infrastructure Development

More mega-projects are coming to Laos to accommodate the rising number of Chinese tourists, according to the Vientiane Times.

In the first three months of this year, 221,800 Chinese visited Laos, a 32 percent leap over the same period last year.

More than 639,180 Chinese visited Laos last year, a 17 percent jump over 2016, and the numbers are expected to rise.

This ongoing rise in arrivals has prompted Chinese firms to invest in tourism-related infrastructure projects in several provinces to draw more Chinese visitors.

The Deputy Head of Vang Vieng’s office of information, culture and tourism, Phouvieng Sykaysone, told Vientiane Times that two Chinese firms are conducting a feasibility study for tourism development in the area.

Ichin Engineering & Construction Lao Company aims to develop the former Vang Vieng airport after they recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Vientiane provincial authorities.

“I’m sure that many more Chinese visitors will come to Laos in the next five to 10 years after the completion of the railway project,” Mr Sykaysone said.

Earlier in July, Laos Maha Nathi Sithandone (Hong Kong) Investment Company, in partnership with a Lao company, signed a concession agreement with the Lao government to develop a new town in the 4,000 Islands region.

The Chinese firm plans to spend US$9 billion to develop infrastructure and tourism-related activities, including hotels and restaurants in the area adjacent to Khonephapheng Waterfall.

The company expects to attract 1.3 million visitors annually from around the world by 2025, including Chinese tourists, and 10 million tourists per year by 2050.

Chinese companies are also eager to build and expand airports in several Lao provinces, includingn Xieng Khouang and Champasak provinces, to facilitate the growth of tourism in Laos.

A Chinese company is currently conducting a feasibility study for developing an airport on the Bolaven Plateau in Champassak.

Source: Vientiane Times