VIENTIANE, July 12 (Xinhua) -- The Lao government is not so confident in achieving its target of attracting five million tourists to Laos in 2018 as a mid-year summary had shown that less than 2 million had visited the country so far this year, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said.
He told a Lao Business Forum that the government had set a target of welcoming 5 million visitors and generating more than 900 million U.S. dollars through the Visit Laos Year 2018 promotional campaign, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Thursday.
"We still face challenges in reaching 5 million visitors as the current figure for mid-year is not even touching 2 million," he said, adding that the upcoming high season may still prove to be a boon for welcoming more visitors.
The prime minister also said that the government is working in collaboration with concerned ministries to promote tourism, but challenges remain for the government and ministries.
Thongloun was hopeful that there would be good weather conditions and a pleasant environment during the remaining six months of 2018 so that incoming foreign tourists would enjoy their stay in Laos.
The Lao government has said it is committed to prioritizing the development of tourism as it plays a vital role in developing its domestic economy through job creation, community development and incentivizing environmental protection measures.