A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the cooperation plan was signed in Vientiane between Lao Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Bosengkham Vongdara and Thai Minister of Tourism and Sport Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul.
An official from the Lao ministry’s Department of International Cooperation revealed that under the MoU, the two countries will assist each other in the development of tourism products and services.
They aim to connect tourism programmes through joint tourism packages and market the two countries as a one destination model as well as enhance the exchange of information in the sector.
“The idea of the cooperation is to focus on tourists who enter Laos and attract them to also visit Thailand, as well as entice those who visit Thailand to also make a trip to Laos and to encourage longer stays in both countries” he said.
According to the cooperation plan, the two sides will also advertise tourism destinations, products and the services of both nations internationally, which they will do together through regional and international tourism fairs, aiming to ensure the growth and sustainability of the tourism industry in the neighbouring nations.
The cooperation will also involve tourism management and strategic plan, while tourism businesses from both countries will be encouraged to enhance their cooperation.
More than 2.3 million Thai people visited Laos, and around 1.5 million Lao citizens went to Thailand last year. This figure of Lao people visiting Thailand was just recorded through the first Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge linking Vientiane and Nongkhai, Thailand.
“Our general objective is to increase tourist travel between the two countries, as well as visitors from third countries,” the official said.
Thailand also proposed the enhancement of tourism links with Laos at talks between the heads of the Lao and Thai governments during an official visit of a Lao high-level delegation to Thailand led by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith in July.
As the outcome of the talks, the two countries will work on a joint master plan on tourism to boost the number of travellers to the region.