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Myanmar makes preparations to host ASEAN tourism forum

Myanmar has decided to host its first Tourism Forum of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in mid-January next year…

Myanmar has decided to host its first Tourism Forum of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in mid-January next year. The nine-day forum, which will take place on January 13 to 21, would provide valuable opportunities to promote the country`s tourism industry, a deputy head of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism was quoted by the Myanmar Times as saying.

Private tour operators in the country are being urged to participate in launching the preparatory activities.

In June last year, the regional tourism task force met in Taunggyi, eastern Myanmar`s Shan state, in a drive for the progress of publishing ASEAN map in Chinese language for market promotion of the regional tourism industry, maintenance of ASEAN tourism website, information program for third phase of ASEAN tourism movement and implementation of regional tourism agreement.

Meanwhile, Myanmar has carried out contests for domestic hotelsin the designation of ASEAN-level status for providing better hotel services to visitors from the region.

Besides, Myanmar has also launched tourism promotional campaigns in some major Asian cities including New Delhi, Osaka, Tokyo, Singapore and Malaysia for increased tourist arrivals.

According to the ministry`s figures, there are 596 hotels, motels and guest houses in Myanmar providing a total of over 18,500 rooms. The number of travel agencies in operation stands over 500.

In the fiscal year 2004-05 which ended in March, a total of 900,000 foreign tourists, including cross-border ones, visited Myanmar from whom over 50 million US dollars were earned, statistics show.

More figures revealed that contracted foreign investment in thesector of hotels and tourism has so far amounted to 1.06 billion dollars since Myanmar started to open to such investment in late 1988. Of the investment, that in hotel projects amounted to over 580 million dollars.

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