Citizens of the Republic of Korea visiting Laos can now stay in the country for up to 30 days without a visa, following a new visa exemption scheme which comes into effect on 3 September 2018.
The Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the announcement on Thursday, extending the current visa exemption for another 15 days so that Korean tourists can now stay in Laos for 30 days without a visa.
The extension of the visa-free stay for Korean visitors was made in response to their wish to stay in Laos for a longer period without having to obtain a visa. It is believed the extension will boost the number of Korean visitors to Laos.
In recent years, Laos has witnessed a significant growth in the number of tourist arrivals from Korea. In 2017, more than 170,000 Korean citizens came to Laos for holidays.
Korean Ambassador to Laos Shin Sung-soon had said previously that a 15-day visa exemption was not long enough for independent travellers wanting to explore Laos.
Laos has now granted visa exemptions for ordinary citizens of 19 countries. Of these, 11 countries have signed bilateral visa exemption agreements with Laos.
The 11 countries include nine other Asean member countries, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The other two are Mongolia and Russia.
Citizens of the eight other countries have benefited from unilateral visa exemption by Laos. They are nationals of Japan, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
However, citizens of the four latter countries have been granted visa exemptions for the year 2018 as part of a special promotion by the Lao government to encourage people from these four countries to take holidays in Laos during Visit Laos Year 2018.
Source: Vientiane Times