VIENTIANE, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone has asked the Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd. (LCRC) to improve facilities and other services offered by the railway, to get ready to embrace an influx of tourists.
According to a Lao National Radio report on Tuesday, Lao prime minister and his officials visited the Vientiane station of the railway in Lao capital Vientiane on Monday, observing ticket sales and inspecting passenger waiting areas, restaurant facilities, VIP waiting rooms and baggage checkpoints.
On the same day, the prime minister and his delegation attended a meeting at the LCRC, a joint venture based in Vientiane which is responsible for the operation of the railway's Lao section, where company staff outlined plans for the future operation of the railway.
The rail operator also described plans to improve services in relation to both passenger travel and freight transport, including resolving existing problems, so that the expected influx of tourists, especially from China, can be handled by the railway.
The operation of the China-Laos Railway in December 2021 has transformed travel in northern Laos, bolstered international trade, and is seen as an important force in driving economic development.
As of Saturday, a total of 2,776 train journeys had been made, carrying 1,829,400 passengers, with an average of 4,065 people travelling on the railway each day.
In addition, a total of 3,517 freight shipments carrying 2.8 million tons of goods had been made, with the types of products transported rising to more than 2,000.
The rail operator has provided jobs for more than 800 Lao nationals, accounting for 60 percent of the total number of employees working on the railway, according to the report. ■