Laos-China​ Railway​ records 150,000 cross-border travellers in one year


Passengers wait to board a train to Luang Prabang province​ during the Lao New Year holiday. - Photo: Vientiane Times/ANN

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN): Since the start of the Laos-China​ Railway​ cross-border service in April 2023, some 150,000 people of 87 nationalities and more than 8 million tons of freight have been transported across the border, providing a huge boost to the tourism industry and economic development alongside the railway.

The figures were reported at an event to mark the first anniversary of the cross-border train service on April 13, held at the Laos-China​ Railway​ station in Vientiane and attended by Minister of​ Information, Culture​ and​ Tourism​ Suanesavanh​ Vignaket, the Charge d’Affaires at the Chinese Embassy in Laos, Wang Chang, and representatives of the Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd, according to Paxason Newspaper.

Wang said the railway is a modern, comfortable and safe way to travel and has greatly improved long distance travel, as well as spurring the growth of tourism in Laos.

The Laos-China Railway is an important link between these two countries and others in the region, while playing an important role in portraying Laos’ traditions and development achievements, as well as promoting mutual cooperation in the region," he was quoted as saying.

Suanesavanh​ added that in the year since the start of train service between Vientiane and Kunming, the number of tourists visiting Laos from China had increased significantly compared to the years before the Laos-China Railway became operational.

In 2022, some 45,​000 Chinese tourists came to Laos, soaring to 641,314 in 2023, and in the first three months of this year 242,193 Chinese tourists spent time in Laos.

The start of the train service was a hugely significant event that bolstered cooperation between the governments of Laos and China and has seen Laos become richer and stronger, the minister said.

The rail operator has introduced a special Lao New Year ticket purchase offer, in which people wanting to travel during the new year holiday period, which is officially celebrated on April 13-16, can buy tickets up to seven days in advance of their planned travel date.

The advance ticket purchase plan relates to travel on any day between April 14 and 22, a time when many people take holidays in the northern provinces.

In addition, the company is running two consecutive EMU trains from April 12-19 (numbers C92/1 and C84/3) between Vientiane and Luang Prabang, as it is anticipated that travel on this route will reach peak levels because Luang Prabang is the most popular destination during the Pi Mai Lao holiday.

City authorities in Luang​ Prabang have prepared an exciting programme of events to entertain visitors during Pi Mai Lao, including a street market, a Visit Laos Year tourism parade, the Nang Sang Khan (Miss Lao New Year)​ parade, a Naga parade, and a lantern parade. - Vientiane Times/ANN

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Laos , China , Railway , Travellers , Big Numbers

   

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