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China-Laos rail link on track to boost trade, tourism

By ZHAO RUINAN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-04-20 07:59

The China-Laos railway crosses the Mekong River in Luang Prabang. [Photo/Xinhua]

The 1,022-km rail journey between Kunming and Vientiane is expected to take less than 10 hours, compared to a 30-hour bus journey, with the tourism industry in Laos standing to benefit greatly from the expected rise in rail passenger traffic.

Kong has prepared well for the new line, with his company converting an ancient building in Luang Prabang into a 58-room hotel.

He said he hoped the project would be completed by the end of this year, adding, "I would not have thought about expanding were it not for the BRI."

In 2019, Kong and his business partners launched discoverlaos.today, an online tour platform providing videos and pictures of the country's tourist destinations.

Going digital not only served him well when the tourist industry was badly hit by the pandemic, but it also could help attract more foreign visitors once border restrictions are lifted.

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