Bokeo province enjoys surge in tourism thanks to Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge

The Lao-Thai border crossing in Bokeo province, where many people enter Laos across the 4th Friendship Bridge linking the two countries. - VT

VIENTIANE: More than 32,000 people entered Bokeo province in the first two months of this year, using the 4th Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River and the Golden Triangle Special Zone border crossing.

The province’s Information, Culture and Tourism Department said a total of 32,598 people entered Bokeo province through these two border crossings, of whom 2,053 were Lao nationals re-entering in the province.

Compared to the same period last year, the number of tourists increased by 9,708, equivalent to 42 per cent of the 2023 figure, and generated more than US$1.6 million in revenue.

In January and February this year, 14,264 foreign tourists entered Bokeo across the 4th Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge, generating revenue of $713,200 from visa fees and general spending during their time in the province.

Meanwhile, 18,334 tourists entered through the Golden Triangle Special Zone border crossing, generating revenue of $916,700.

To attract even more tourists, Bokeo province officially opened a new airport last month, with the capacity to handle about 2 million passengers a year.

The airport is the third largest in Laos after Wattay International Airport in Vientiane and Luang Prabang International Airport.

In a further bid to draw more visitors, provincial authorities have improved the quality of services and instituted safety measures, as well as stepping up advertising for Visit Laos Year 2024 in local and foreign media and through participation in international tourism exhibitions.​​

Tourism is a rapidly growing sector of the province’s economy, so authorities are giving it full support by formulating policies to develop and promote cultural, historical, natural, and agricultural tourism.

Bokeo province has many places of interest to tourists with 77 officially designated tourist sites, including 53 nature-based attractions, 14 cultural sites, and 10 places of historical interest.

Tourism is increasingly contributing to socio-economic development, job creation, agricultural production, crafts, and exports, as well as bringing more money to rural communities.

The government considers tourism as its top priority in revitalising the economy and hopes that at least 4.6 million foreign and Lao tourists will take trips in the country this year, generating revenue of US$712 million. - Vientiane Times/ANN

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Laos , Bokeo , tourism , Thailand , bridge


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