Cambodia, Myanmar sign MoU to promote Angkor, Bagan

Cambodia and Myanmar have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote two of the greatest Buddhist sites in Southeast Asia as tourist destinations, the Khmer Times reported.

The agreement to promote visits by national and third-country tourists to Angkor and Bagan was signed by Cambodia’s Tourism Minister, Ms Thong Khon, and Myanmar’s Minister of Hotel and Tourism, U Ohn Maung, on November 18, the daily reported.

The signing ceremony took place on the sidelines of the first International Cambodia Travel Mart, held at a hotel in Siem Reap, gateway to the temples at Angkor, a World Heritage site since 1992.

“The MoU focuses in creating a single tourist destination, Angkor-Bagan, to attract tourists to the area for the benefit of both countries,” said Mr Tith Chanta, secretary of state of Cambodia’s Tourism Ministry, the Khmer Times reported.

“We will also work to create direct flights from Bagan to Siem Reap,” he said.

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Tith Chanta said both sides would also promote education and the professional development of the tourism industry, as well as exchange information and experiences, particularly on cultural tourism.

Mr Ho Vandy, secretary-general of the Cambodian National Tourism Alliance, welcomed the agreement, saying it could expand Cambodia’s tourism market.

“It will boost tourist numbers between the two countries,” Ho Vandy was quoted as saying by the daily.

“It is a good model of development for the tourism industry, similar to what we already have with Thailand,” he said.

Citing official figures, the Khmer Times said ticket sales earned the Angkor Archeological Park US$84 million (about K114.8 billion) during the first 10 months of this year, up 71 percent on the same period in 2016.

During the first nine months of 2017, Cambodia welcomed 3.5 million foreign tourists, a 12 percent increase year-on-year, the daily said.

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