In the morning I ate rice noodles in Kunming, Yunnan, and in the evening I went to Vientiane, Laos to drink coffee. With the opening of the China-Laos railway, traveling abroad by train has become a reality.
On November 18, the 2023 China International Tourism Fair “China-Laos Railway International Cultural Tourism Economic Belt Construction Seminar” was held. Lou Kewei, member of the Party Leadership Group and Deputy Director of the Yunnan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, said in an exclusive interview with a reporter from the Beijing News that in the future We will build a China-Laos railway tourism industry network and create a number of cross-border golden tourism loops centered on Kunming and Vientiane, covering China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. At the same time, customs clearance facilitation at Yunnan ports will be further improved to provide more convenient services for tourists traveling between China and Laos.
Lou Kewei, member of the Party Leadership Group and Deputy Director of the Yunnan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism.Photo by Hu Yuya
Nearly 100,000 tourists have achieved “traveling in Laos by train”
Beijing News:How has the overall tourism market situation in Yunnan been since this year?
Lou Kewei:The new results achieved in the recovery and development of Yunnan’s tourism market can be summarized as rapid growth, structural optimization, and exceeding expectations. Specifically, from January to September 2023, Yunnan Province received 824 million tourists and achieved tourism revenue of 1,001.7 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 23.1% and 32.9%, respectively, returning to 134.4% and 121.8% of the same period in 2019; tourists The structure is stabilizing and improving. Young and middle-aged tourists have become the main force in the tourism market in Yunnan Province, with tourists aged 23-45 accounting for 45.8%. The proportion of “repeat visitors” has further increased, with 76.7% of domestic tourists being “repeat visitors” to Yunnan.
Beijing News:The China-Laos Railway international passenger train has received widespread attention since its launch. Please introduce the basic operation conditions of the train. How many tourists have experienced the train so far? What scenery can you enjoy along the way?
Lou Kewei:Since its launch on April 13 this year, the China-Laos Railway International Passenger Train has transported a total of 348,000 passengers. Nearly 100,000 tourists have experienced the cross-border travel of “traveling in Laos by train” and “traveling in China by train”.
The China-Laos Railway international passenger train stops at 8 passenger stations including Kunming South, Pu’er, Xishuangbanna, Mohan, Boten, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Vientiane. We recommend 7 tourist routes, including a slow tour of Spring City, a tea-seeking Pu’er tour, an elephant tour to Banna, a tour of Vientiane, etc. Tourists can travel through the tropical rainforest, explore Dai countryside, or take a cruise on the Mekong River. Watch the sunset, and experience outdoor activities such as paragliding and hot air balloon sunrise.
Beijing News:Will Yunnan’s emerging outbound tourism form linkage with tourism resources in other provinces?
Lou Kewei:The construction of the China-Laos Railway International Cultural Tourism Economic Belt is an important attempt for us to explore “railway + inbound and outbound tourism”. Taking into account the resource characteristics and development foundation along the China-Laos railway, combined with the demand trends of the passenger source market, in the future, We will actively discuss and work together with surrounding provinces and cities on cultural and tourism development to form a tourism resource linkage mechanism.
Constructing the “One Belt and Two Circles” tourism development pattern
Beijing News:What role does the opening of the China-Laos railway play in promoting the development of the tourism market?
Lou Kewei:The opening of the China-Laos Railway has played a very important role in stimulating the tourism market in Yunnan. On the one hand, the opening of the China-Laos Railway has greatly improved the travel convenience for tourists, shortened travel time, made it easier for domestic and foreign tourists to travel to Yunnan, and enhanced Yunnan’s inbound tourism market. On the other hand, the opening of the China-Laos Railway has also enabled Yunnan’s tourism resources to be better developed and promoted, providing tourists with more travel options and experiences.
The opening of the China-Laos Railway has also played a positive role in the development of Laos and the Lancang-Mekong region. The opening of the China-Laos railway has strengthened the connections and cooperation between Laos and China, and will further promote industrial cooperation, economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchanges between China and Laos. For the Lancang-Mekong region, the China-Laos railway has played a leading role and set an example for the integrated development of the Lancang-Mekong region. The China-Laos Railway, coupled with the policy dividends of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), will greatly unleash the potential of trade, logistics, tourism and other industries in the Lancang-Mekong region and promote economic development and cultural exchanges in the Lancang-Mekong region.
Beijing News:What work has the Yunnan cultural and tourism department carried out in promoting China-Laos railway tourism? What’s next?
Lou Kewei:In terms of promotion, we actively promote the construction of the China-Laos Railway International Cultural Tourism Economic Corridor. At the same time, adhering to the concept of cooperation and openness, we focus on mechanism improvement, business innovation, platform construction, product development, image enhancement, etc., and actively promote the China-Laos Railway International Cultural Tourism The construction of the economic belt has been deepened and solid.
Since its launch on April 13, the China-Laos Railway international passenger train has been welcomed by the people of China and Laos. Cross-border transportation on the China-Laos railway is booming for both passengers and cargo. It not only facilitates the travel of people along the route and promotes the development of the tourism industry of the two countries, but also plays an important role in promoting economic and trade exchanges between the two countries and the high-quality development of the “Belt and Road Initiative”.
In the next step, we will focus on joint promotion of industries to increase the influence of China-Laos railway tourism. Guided by market rules, we will build a China-Laos railway tourism industry network. Strengthen the joint promotion of tourism routes, create a number of cross-border golden tourism loops centered on Kunming and Vientiane, covering China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and strive to build an international cultural tourism belt with the China-Laos Railway as the forerunner, combined with the “Lanmei-Mekong” The “One Belt and Two Circles” tourism development pattern of “Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar and Nepal Tourism Circle”.
Focus on market co-education and enhance the competitiveness of China-Laos railway tourism. Based on the global market, we actively carry out international tourism market promotion and build a new development pattern that is more open, innovative, inclusive and mutually beneficial.
Focus on platform co-construction and give full play to the leadership of China-Laos railway connectivity. Actively build a China-Laos railway international cultural and tourism belt consortium with diverse participation from government departments, market entities, industry associations, and international organizations. Actively participate in the Silk Road Tourism Cities Alliance and contribute to the development of cultural tourism along the Belt and Road Initiative.
A master plan for the China-Laos Railway Cultural Tourism Economic Belt will be prepared
Beijing News:At present, what are the outstanding problems in international passenger transport and cross-border tourism on the China-Laos railway? How to solve?
Lou Kewei:At present, tourism policy supply, tourism planning of cities and regions along the route, and tourism product supply still need to be improved.
In the future, we will further improve customs clearance facilitation at Yunnan ports and provide more convenient services for tourists traveling between China and Laos. At the planning and design level, we will continue to strengthen direct collaboration with relevant departments, research institutions and enterprises in the cities along the China-Laos railway, prepare an overall plan for the China-Laos railway cultural tourism economic belt, and promote the orderly development of tourism resources.
At the same time, we will also further promote the infrastructure construction, tourism products, and business supply in cities along the China-Laos railway, and provide tourists with a more comfortable tourism environment and more attractive tourism products.
Beijing News:Yunnan Tourism wants to build a radiation center for South Asia and Southeast Asia. What plans and plans does the cultural and tourism department have?
Lou Kewei:In 2019, “Policies and Measures to Support Yunnan Province in Accelerating the Construction of Radiation Centers for South and Southeast Asia” was issued, proposing to deepen exchanges and cooperation with neighboring countries in agriculture, infrastructure, production capacity, economy and trade, etc.
This year is the tenth year since the “Belt and Road” initiative was proposed. Yunnan Province will continue to promote the construction of radiation centers for South Asia and Southeast Asia, clarify the paths and channels for culture and tourism to radiate South Asia and Southeast Asia, and implement the goals of the “3815 Strategy” of the Yunnan Provincial Committee and Provincial Government. Focusing on the construction of Yunnan cultural tourism parks, policy research bases and the cultivation of cultural tourism talents, we strive to create a new aspect of Yunnan cultural tourism radiating to South Asia and Southeast Asia.
In the next step, Yunnan will further promote the task requirements of the “Three-Year Action to Build a Strong Cultural and Tourism Province of Yunnan Province (2023-2025)” regarding culturally enriching Yunnan, tourism revitalizing Yunnan, implementing high-quality construction of cultural tourism projects, and cultivating and strengthening business entities. , actively build cross-border tourism corridors with neighboring countries, cultivate and create high-quality cross-border tourism routes, and continue to promote the construction of border tourism pilot zones and cross-border tourism cooperation zones. At the same time, we will continue to strengthen the international communication capabilities of cultural tourism and further deepen exchanges and cooperation with South Asian and Southeast Asian countries.
7 recommended travel routes along the China-Laos Railway international passenger train
1. Slow Tour of Spring City
As the starting point of the China-Laos Railway, Kunming in Yunnan has the titles of “Historical and Cultural City”, “Spring City and Flower Capital of the World” and “City of Health in China”. Visitors can visit Dongfeng Plaza, Golden Horse and Jade Rooster, Green Lake Yuantong Mountain, Dian Lake, and the World Expo Park , Dounan Flower Market and other scenic spots.
2. Leisure trip to Yuxi
Yuxi has “the story of Nie Er and the national anthem”, and it is the “origin of life on earth”. The route uses “rail + highway” as the main mode of transportation, and features Chengjiang Fossil Site World Natural Heritage, Cambrian Town, and Fuxian Lake Sports as tourism experience content.
3. A journey to find Pu’er tea
The ancient Tea Horse Road once brought Pu’er out of the mountains; today’s China-Laos Railway has allowed Pu’er to be deeply integrated into the Indochina Peninsula. The route is themed “Tea-Horse Road, Yun-Dian Station” and uses “rail + highway” as the main mode of transportation. Visitors can visit the world’s first tea culture world heritage site – Jingmai Mountain, and experience the time tunnel of tea-horse history and culture. Zhongzhong walked to the ancient tea-horse road post town – Nakeli.
4. Xiang’s journey to Banna
Xishuangbanna is China’s only inland tropical rainforest city on the Tropic of Cancer. The elephants that “escape” from here and head north demonstrate to the world the important achievements my country has made in protecting wildlife. The line uses “rail + highway” as the main mode of transportation. Visitors can travel through the tropical rain forest and explore scenic spots such as Gaozhuang Xishuangjing, Wild Elephant Valley, Big Buddha Temple, Dai Garden and Chinese Academy of Sciences Botanical Garden in Dai Township.
5. Journey to the hidden capital
Luang Prabang, Laos, is famous for its exquisite and simple architecture, solemn and mysterious temples. The line uses “rail + highway” as the main mode of transportation. Tourists can visit scenic spots such as the Royal Palace Museum, Xiangthong Temple, Puxi Mountain and Foreigner Street Night Market, and can also watch the sunset on a cruise ship on the Mekong River.
6. Journey to the Landscape and Wanrong
Vangvieng, Laos is known as a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The route deeply integrates local outdoor sports into the tourist route. There are all kinds of outdoor experience projects such as kayaking, rafting, cave exploration, paragliding, hot air balloon sunrise, and shooting experiences.
7. Explore Vientiane Tour
The line uses “railway + highway + shipping” as the main mode of transportation. Visitors can enter Vientiane, the “city of sandalwood” lined with temples, and experience the urban civilization of the Laos capital at That Luang Temple, the Arc de Triomphe, Xiang Khun Temple and the Laos National Museum.
Beijing News reporter Wu Tingting
Editor Bai Shuang and proofreader Zhao Lin