Laos-China Railway boosts daily trips in preparation of tourism surge as country gears up Visit Laos Year

VIENTIANE (Laotian Times): The Laos-China Railway Company has announced that it will increase the daily trips of its passenger trains to 12 journeys a day from the previous 10 daily journeys, effective from January 22.

The move comes as the railway operator aims to accommodate the expected increase in tourists this year, aligning with the launch of the Visit Laos 2024 tourism campaign.

The Laos-China Railway (LCR) has become an integral part of transportation within the country, helping Laos transition from land-locked to “land-linked.”

Since its inauguration in late 2021, the Laos-China Railway (LCR) has played a pivotal role in transforming Laos from a land-locked nation to a “land-linked” one. Over the past year, the railway has witnessed substantial growth, carrying over 3.1 million passengers, with an average daily ridership of 4,889 passengers and a peak ridership of 10,917 people.

In response to the increased demand for rail travel, the LCR has proactively taken steps to enhance its services. The railway saw a remarkable 103.7 percent increase in passenger traffic in 2023, with over 1.75 million passengers traveling from January to September.

To improve efficiency and accommodate the growing demand, the company introduced a new electric multiple-unit (EMU) train and launched an app for Android and IOS for ticket purchasing.

Beyond domestic transport within Laos, the LCR has successfully connected Vientiane Capital, Laos, to Kunming, the capital of southwest China’s Yunnan province, in April last year.

In late 2023, the rail operator also launched the route between Vientiane Capital and Beijing, the capital of China. The round trip between Vientiane and Beijing now takes up to 15 days, and covers an approximate distance of 3,660 km.

In addition to facilitating passenger travel, the Laos-China Railway has become a key player in the transportation of goods between neighboring countries. Notably, the railway has contributed to a surge in fruit exports from Thailand to China, reducing transit times to less than 15 hours compared to the previous two-day journey by road.

Thailand’s Tourism Authority has also incorporated the LCR into its 2024 strategic direction, which aims to prioritize overland travel via the Laos-China Railway to enhance connectivity and boost tourism between Laos, China, and Thailand.

As part of the Visit Laos Year 2024 campaign, the Lao government aims to attract over 2.7 million international tourists throughout the year, with a targeted revenue generation of US$401 million. - Laotian Times

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