Lao welcomes nearly 3.8 million foreign arrivals in 2013, up 500,000 visitors over the previous year and even surpassing the target set for 2015, according to the Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.

Visitors to Laos mainly came from ASEAN countries, with Thailand topping with 1.9 million.

The country also saw sharp increase in the number of arrivals from Europe, America and Middle East .

The ministry attributed the result to tourism development policies as well as promotion campaign in 2012, besides the joint efforts of the government and ministries in bettering tourist services and destinations.

Currently, Laos has about 700 tourist attractions nationwide. The Southeast Asian country also plans to develop other 800 potential tourism spots.

Recently, Laos has received the Best Tourism Destination Award in 2013 granted by the European Council on Tourism and Trade.-VNA