The arrival of Korean students signals the return of tourism to Laos

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times / Asia News Network): Tourists and members of various international organizations are now starting to arrive in Laos after the government reopened the country to foreign nationals this month.

The first group to arrive on Monday announced the revival of tourism after Laos was closed to foreign nationals in March 2020 when the Covid pandemic struck. The group included 17 students and six teachers from Ipo High School in Seoul, Republic of Korea, who arrived at Wattay International Airport.

A representative of Fasikham High School in Naxaithong District, Vientiane, Kim Daesong, welcomed the group, whose trips to Vientiane are organized by Family Tour Co., Ltd. From January 10 to February 20, students from Fasikham School and Korean students will play golf together and share various cultural and artistic activities.

Korean students said they would like to visit Vangvieng District in Vientiane Province to see the spectacular scenery and discover other places of interest.

Members of the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 task force and other officials were on hand to greet the group at Wattay International Airport, who screened passengers arriving for Covid-19.

Newcomers must take a Covid test at a border post or airport terminal upon entry and self-quarantine at a designated hotel for 24 hours.

Vientiane Bus Enterprise staff provide services to visitors to quarantine locations.

Across the country, residents are preparing for the return of tourists, whose excursions will initially be confined to Vientiane, Luang Prabang province and Vangvieng district in Vientiane province.

These three sites have been designated as Green Travel Zones and will be accepting visitors from January 1 to March 30 as part of the first phase of a three-step tourism recovery program.

Travel destinations have been limited due to difficulties opening up the entire country while Covid control measures remain in place.

Tourism staff will be responsible for welcoming and selecting clients from hotels. All visitors must be fully vaccinated and will be tested for Covid upon arrival in Laos.

The government is now accepting tourists from China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Republic of Korea, Japan, France, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, United States, Canada and Australia.

Several tourist attractions in green travel zones are now ready to receive visitors under the “new normal conditions” introduced due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

In Vangvieng district, local authorities have improved the quality of accommodation and services in restaurants and prepared special facilities for visitors.

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