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Myanmar works for booming tourism through int'l activities

Source:   Time:

YANGON, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar is working for development of tourism through taking part in international and regional tourism activities, aiming to bring in more and more world tourists to the country.

According to a latest report, airlines and travel agencies in Myanmar are making arrangement to join the ASEAN Tourism Forum ( ATF) set to be held in Cambodia to seek tourism promotion among regional members.

The ATF-2011 will be the 30th for members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to host alternately in their capitals and will be the second time for Cambodia to host the event in its capital of Phnom Penh from Jan. 15 to 21, 2011.

Myanmar booths will include those of Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, some airlines and travel agencies.

Throughout 2010, Myanmar made every efforts to promote tourism and as part of them, the Myanmar Marketing Committee (MMC) planned domestic familiarization (FAM) package trips in April and September for international media persons and travel agencies this year in a bid to promote the country's tourism market through foreign media,

The travel packages were 8-day Mystical Myanmar FAM trip which brought tour groups to the country's famous Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inlay and 5-day Highlights of Myanmar FAM trip which also brought the visitors to Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan.

These familiarization (FAM) trips were planned with the cooperation of hotels, international and domestic airlines, tour operators and some travel agencies.

According to the MCC, over 360 tourists from international travel agencies and media persons visited Myanmar during the past five years through taking FAM trips.

The travelers were from North America, South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East countries and Asian countries.

To boost tourism regionally, the Myanmar tourism authorities was also negotiating over a plan with CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) to travel to each others without visa, projecting a plan for the year 2012-15.

In September-October this year, Myanmar participated in an international tourism fair in Ho Chi Minh city and exhibit hotels established in the ancient city of Bagan in Mandalay division.

These Bagan hotels are selected as Bagan Hotel, Thiripitzaya Sakura Hotel, Amazing Bagan Golf Resort, Myanmar Treasure Hotel, Aureum Palace Hotel and Resort Ayeya Hotel, Bagan Thante Hotel, Tazin Garden Hotel and Tharabar Gate Hotel.

Earlier in March, a special tourist train which connects Myanmar's commercial port city of Yangon to the archaeological center of Bagan was put into service.

Jointly launched by the Ministry of Rail Transportation and the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, the special train program on Yangon-Pyay-Kyaukpadaing-Bagan route also involve other private tour companies.

In October, 13 Myanmar tourism companies participated in ITB Asia Singapore travel trade show at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Center.

Taking part in the show were Myanmar Marketing Committee (MMC), Air Bagan, MAI (Myanmar Airways International), Inya Lake and Chatrium Hotel, Adventure Myanmar Travel , Grand Lotus Travel , Golden Host Travel , Interconnection Travel , Mobydick Travel , Wide View Travel , Glamorous Myanmar Travel and Unique Asia Travel Centers.

The Myanmar side displayed Myanmar historical sites to international tourism companies.

In November, six Myanmar tourism companies took part in World Travel Mart (WMT) 2010 in ExCel London.

Besides joining other trade shows in early 2011 in such countries as Cambodia, Australia, Italy, Germany in a bid to draw attention from more countries, Myanmar will attend the ITE and MICE 2010-Annual International Travel Expo in China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) scheduled for June 9 to 12 , 2011.

According to official statistics, tourist arrivals in Myanmar through the Yangon International Airport reached 259,458 in the first 11 months of 2010, up 61,509 compared with the same period of 2009's 197,949.

The increase of tourist arrivals was partly due to the introduction of visa-on-arrival system for a four-month short period from April to August under the government's revised policy to promote tourism.

Foreign travelers mostly came from North America, Africa, Asia, Middle-East countries and East and West European countries.

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