A JOINT venture between two Wee County companies has been launched to boost tourism from the Far East to Clacks.

Magna World has joined with Hunter's Coaches to cater for overseas visitors to the region as international travel returns.

Chen Li, company director of Magna World, said: "Magna World actually started in Menstrie in 2015 as an inbound tourism operator. We bring Chinese people from China to the UK for travel and holidays.

"Now we're in Tillicoultry so it's always been a local business. We [work across] the UK but we try to bring more guests into Scotland to benefit the Scottish economy."

Chen has lived in the Wee County since 2008 and so she has a passion to bring business to the area.

She started the business in 2015 and also owns the Bridge Inn.

The venture between Magna World and Hunter's Coaches is preparing for the return of overseas travellers as soon as possible; however, they currently have a contract with Glasgow University to travel to Manchester Airport and pick up Chinese students.

John Hunter, director of Hunters Coaches, said: "Hunters Coaches is a family business and we're delighted to be in partnership with Chen.

"Myself, my daughter, my wife and my son-in-law are the people who run [the company] and we're the biggest company in the central region.

"It's great to move on and take on this new venture with Magna World.

"We've got a modern fleet and we've been upgrading throughout the pandemic to take us forward."

Steven Campbell, chairman of Discover Clackmannanshire, said the local tourism industry is excited to see what the future brings.

He said: "During the Covid-19 pandemic the tourism industry has been hit extremely hard and we have seen many coach and travel operators close down.

"It is, therefore, great to see two local businesses, Magna World and Hunters Coaches, forming this fantastic joint venture which will bring more visitors to Scotland and, in particular, Clackmannanshire.

"Everyone from the local tourism industry wishes them all the best and we are excited to see what the future brings."