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Laos Adds New US$2 Tax on Tourists

December 27, 2010 by Khiri Travel |

The Laos Tourism Marketing Board (LTMB) has announced that a new tax of US$2 will be levied on all tourists to Laos. The board, which is permanently chaired by the Lao National Tourism Administration, said it would use the money to promote the country to international tourists through a PR and marketing campaign.

Day traders who cross the border to sell mostly agricultural produce will have to pay US$1 per trip. The new tax would be collected at 18 land border crossings and at Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Pakse airports. The LMTB has not said when the new tax would start.

There are now five different taxes for tourists in Laos: a visa fee of US$30-45, which goes to the Ministry of Foreign affairs and Immigration, an overstay fee of US$1-2 which goes to the customs department and provincial authorities, a fee of US$2-5 which goes to the LNTA, and the new LMTB tax.

Khiri Travel would like to see the Laotian visa and travel tax position simplified, streamlined and made transparent. Having too many small locally administered taxes creates opportunities for corruption. It also causes confusion among travellers and travel agents. There is already too much queuing up, paper filling and delays at Laotian entry points. Furthermore, taxing local day traders to fund LTMB tourism marketing and PR is an unnecessary burden on low-income traders and farming families.

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