Last year Luang Prabang province was visited by nearly 200,000 international visitors who contributed roughly US$80 million to the local economy, according to reports citing a Luang Prabang tourism official. The province and its ancient capital are expecting half a million tourists per year by 2010. Lao Airlines currently also operates four flights each week between the country's capital Vientiane and Kunming.
Although tourists are a primary reason for the new Kunming-Luang Prabang route, the growing importance of economic ties between Laos and China – especially Yunnan – should not be overlooked.
An example of this growing relationship is the announcement last week that Yunnan Copper Mining, Yunnan's second-'strongest' company according to recent rankings by the Yunnan Provincial Enterprise Association, will invest US$5 million in the construction of a five-star hotel in Luang Prabang province. Construction is scheduled to commence in August of this year.
Update: According to the Kunming office of Lao Airlines, the new Kunming-Luang Prabang route operates on Mondays and Fridays: The Kunming - Luang Prabang flight departs at 20:10 Beijing time and arrives in Luang Prabang at 20:40 local time. The Luang Prabang - Kunming flight leaves at 17:00 local time in Laos and arrives in Kunming at 19:30 Beijing time. The flight takes approximately 90 minutes.© Copyright 2005-2020 GoKunming.com all rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rewritten or redistributed without permission.