Laos Sees More than 1,000 People Cross at Chinese Border

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Laos has recorded over 1,000 people entering and exiting via the Boten International Border checkpoint in Luang Namtha Province since China authorized the reopening of borders last week.

Following the border reopening between Laos and China, 420 visitors entered Laos through Boten International Checkpoint and 850 left the country, according to a customs officer.

Lieutenant Colonel Viengvilay Sawaivanh, Head of Customs at Boten International Checkpoint, said during an interview with Lao National Radio that most of the visitors who crossed the border into Laos were Chinese visitors and workers.

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The majority of those who had left the country were Chinese nationals who went home for the first time in almost three years ahead of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Border authorities have contacted relevant Chinese officials about restarting the issuance of tourist visas to China so that travelers from Laos and tour operators can resume business.

Ahead of Chinese New Year, which falls on 22 January, most Chinese tourists and residents are expected to return home. However, following this period, Laos is hoping to welcome more visitors from China, according to Lieutenant Colonel Viengvilay.

Lao Airlines also plans to increase the number of weekly flights between cities in China to Laos, to enable more people to travel between the two countries.