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GMS countries to develop regional tourism
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15:44, October 19, 2008

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Tourism working group of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)-Economic Cooperation has worked outa latest plan for development of tourism as part of its economic cooperation in the subregion, the official newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported Sunday.

The 22nd GMS Tourism Working Group Meeting, hosted by Myanmar and held recently in Nay Pyi Taw, designated the year 2009-2010 asGMS tourism year with a GMS tourism coordination office being set up to run the tourism year activities.

Progress on the implementation of other plans of the six GMS countries was also touched upon at the meeting, attended by representatives of China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam sharing the Mekong river, the report said.

Myanmar, a member of the six-country GMS, has worked for closereconomic ties together with other members of the grouping by taking part in the implementation of the GMS program.

With regard to tourism sector, Myanmar is cooperating with the GMS members in 21 tourism projects to develop the sector in the subregion. The 21 projects, which are among the 29 outlined at a tourism investment summit of the GMS held in Lao ancient city of Luang Phrabang in March 2006, covers development of tourism infrastructure, human resources development, private tourism service development and market research.

Meanwhile, as part of its bid to boost arrivals of world tourists and those from the third countries visiting the two border areas of Myanmar and Laos, Myanmar had the Wan Pon port checkpoint in Tachilek upgraded in January 2007 along with the BanMuang Mom checkpoint from the Lao side to meet international standard.

The 4,500-km Mekong river originates from China's Qinghai Province and runs through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam down to South China Sea near Ho Chi Minh city.

According to official statistics, tourist arrivals in Myanmar in the fiscal year 2007-08 which ended in March, totalled 288,776 with 51,872 more registered in the first quarter of 2008-09.

Source: Xinhua

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