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Russia Eyes Tourism Ties With Laos

Russia has expressed an interest in developing tourism with Laos, seeking to enable Lao and Russian citizens to more easily visit each other’s countries.

Vientiane Times reports that Ambassador Vladimir A. Kalinin of the Russian Federation to Laos recently held talks with Lao Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Mrs. Suanesavanh Vignaket, to discuss tourism links.

Ambassador Vladimir requested that Russian language be added to the Lao tourism website, suggesting that Russia would add Lao language to its own national tourism portal as well. This way people in both countries could more easily access information about each other’s tourism attractions. The two sides also discussed the ASEAN Single Window Visa, which would allow Russian citizens to more easily visit Laos and other ASEAN countries.

Russia also hopes to sign a cultural cooperation agreement with Laos, which may be completed during the upcoming Laos-Russia Joint Commission Meeting, where trade, economic, and technological cooperation is discussed and enhanced.

In 2019, some 12,054 Russian tourists visited Laos out of a total of 4,791,065 visitors, according to the Ministry’s Statistical Report on Tourism in Laos.

Russia was one of the first countries to donate Covid-19 vaccines to Laos, as well as announcing it will provide a USD 12 million upgrade to Mittaphab Hospital, one of Laos’ major central hospitals.