VIENTIANE, April 4 (Xinhua) -- China Eastern Airlines' Vientiane Representative Office and its travel agency partners have hosted a joint cooperation exchange to help promote visits to the Laos.
"The promotional activity enabled travel agencies from northern and eastern China to understand Laos' tourism resources, experience the atmosphere and attract tourists from these markets in support of Visit Laos Year 2018," Wan Li, the China Eastern Airlines Vientiane representative told Xinhua on Wednesday.
The organizers invited more than 20 Chinese travel agencies from Shandong, Shanghai and Beijing, who toured northern Lao ancient town Luang Prabang, scenic Vangvieng before arriving in Vientiane.
"The highlight of the tour was that participants have experienced Laos' cultural traditions, beautiful mountains and rivers, and relaxing leisure," said Wan.
The meeting also invited representatives from Lao government agencies as to enable the invited travel agencies to fully understand the regulations and procedures for entry into Laos.
The number of passengers passing through Vientiane airport increased by an annual average of 9 percent from the years 2000 to 2009, according to Lao daily Vientiane Times on Wednesday.
In 2016, the airport handled about 1,108,000 international and 412,000 domestic passengers and this figure is expected to increase to about 1,151,000 international and 460,000 domestic passengers in 2023, according to the Civil Aviation Department.
Tourist arrivals in Laos reached 3.8 million people in 2017, decreasing from 4.23 million tourists in 2016. The Chinese were the only nationality whose numbers increased by around 5 percent to 639,000 people, according to the Tourism Development Department of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.
Headquartered in Shanghai, China Eastern Air Holding Company is among China's major air transportation groups.