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Cambodia and Laos Agree to Facilitate Cross-Border Travel to Boost Mutual Tourism

VIENTIANE: The Cambodian Minister of Tourism, Thong Khon, met with the Laotian Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Suanesavanh Vignaket, to discuss the potential for boosting tourism flows between the two countries and from third countries, as well as to review the outcome of the second Senior Officials Meeting between Cambodia and Laos on tourism, held on Monday morning, 13 March 2023.

The two ministers also explored the potential of developing new infrastructure in both countries to act as catalysts for tourism, and to especially boost the flow of Chinese and other third-country tourists, through the use of the high-speed train in Laos, the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway, and self-driving tourism across the border.

The Cambodian and Laotian ministers agreed to urge tourism officials to consider facilitating cross-border travel, especially self-driving tourism, so that Laotian tourists an come through to Cambodia and use the expressway to visit the country's coastal areas, and Cambodian tourists can also visit Laos and take the high-speed train from Vientiane to other provinces.

Both sides also raised the issue of flights between the two countries, with the Cambodian side welcoming the preparation of special policies to establish more flights between Vientiane, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, or any other rights or special policies that the Laotian side might request.

The Laotian Minister of Information agreed with Minister Thong Khon that the main tourist destinations of the two countries should be connected through the establishment of additional flights, and agreed to encourage Lao Airlines to open more flights to Cambodia.

Other meetings were also held between private sector representatives from Cambodia and Laos to review the arrangement of joint tourism packages to further link tourism businesses.

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