VIENTIANE, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Over 500,000 Chinese tourists visited Laos, Lao state-run news agency KPL reported Monday.

According to the report, Laos remains a favorite tourist destination for many people of neighboring countries including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and China.

During the past several years, Lao tourism sector has enjoyed consistent and impressive growth. The country had 4.6 million international arrivals in 2015, a 13 per cent increase over the previous year. Most visitors came from neighboring countries and Chinese tourists made up the lion's share with 422,440 visitors in 2014 and 511,436 in 2015. The numbers continue to increase significantly year after year.

One of the reasons that the Laos remains a favorite for Chinese tourists is that Laos and China share two international border checkpoints and six local checkpoints which ease and facilitate the flow of visitors between the two countries, according to the report.

Laos has four friendship bridges connecting to neighboring countries and some excellent roads linking to China. Hence, it is considered a transit hub for cargo transportation services between China and several ASEAN countries because of the ease with which people can travel to and from.

In the field of cross border tourism cooperation, Laos actively participates in several activities hosted by China including a series of International Tourism Exhibition Expos and Fairs where participating countries have the opportunity to promote their own uniqueness and rich cultural traditions.   The objectives of these fairs and expos are to expand and collaborate within the tourism industry to ensure that mutual benefits are achieved and shared in not only this region, but across the world.

"It is also impressive to note that Lao Ministry of Information,  Culture and Tourism and the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) are in process of preparing to sign an MOU on standards of quality to attract tourists," said the report.