Laos Airlines cut ticket prices to stimulate tourism

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Lao Airlines, the national flag carrier, is decreasing the price of tickets on domestic and international routes in a bid to stimulate tourism within the country.

The airline’s decision to reduce the price of tickets coincides with the traditional high season for tourists.

The airline often reduces the price of tickets during the high season, but this year is very special due to the launch of Visit Laos Year 2018 to boost tourism and attract foreign travellers to the country, a source from Lao Airlines told Vientiane Times yesterday.

The airline explained that its promotional prices during the high season of Visit Laos Year 2018 would be available from October, 2017 to March 2018 and the cost of tickets will be cut about 28 percent, including round tickets from Vientiane to Bangkok being reduced from US$250 to US$180, and Vientiane to Vietnam from US$260 to US$220, while round tickets for domestic flights such as Vientiane to Luang Prabang have been cut from 1,300,000 kip to 900,000kip.

“We expect there will be a higher number of tourists visiting the country and travel by local people within the country as well,” the source said.

Besides Lao Airlines, foreign visitors had many choices to come to Laos with the Asean Open Skies policy which came into effect in 2015, also known as the Asean Single Aviation Market (ASEAN-SAM), he added.

“In an effort to stimulate tourism, Lao Airlines plans to increase the number of flights on domestic routes as well. For example, we plan to increase Vientiane - Pakxe flights from two to three flights per day, Vientiane-Luang Prabang from three to four flights per day,” the source said.

More importantly, the airline planned to extend the promotion until Lao New Year 2018 depending on the demand of passengers, he added.

Lao Airlines recently launched a mobile application to allow domestic and foreign customers to book the airline’s flights.

The nation has organised Visit Laos Year on two previous occasions - once in 1999-2000 and again in 2011-12 to encourage more tourists at home and abroad to visit sites within the country.

In 2015, there were 4.6 million visitors to Laos, generating US$725 million in revenue. It is projected that tourist arrivals will reach about 6.2 million by 2020 and generate revenue amounting to US$993 million.

During ‘Visit Laos Year 2018’, the nation will seek to attract at least 5 million arrivals generating revenue of about US$900 million.

To better promote the ‘Visit Laos Year 2018’ campaign, the government approved six slogans: “Warmly Welcome to Visit Laos Year 2018”; “Laos Jewel of the Mekong”; “Laos Simply Beautiful”; “ Be the Good Host for Visit Laos Year 2018”; “Visit, Enjoy, Safety, Environmentally Friendly”;  and “Visit Laos, Experience the Diversity of Nature, Culture and History”.

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