Tourist arrivals in Myanmar up 25% in 2009
 updatetime:2010-03-28 14:56:06   View:0 Source:xinhuanet
    Tourists arrivals in Myanmar hit 227,400 in 2009, up 25 percent compared with 2008, the local Myanmar Posts reported Monday.

Tourists arrivals in Myanmar hit 227,400 in 2009, up 25 percent compared with 2008, the local Myanmar Posts reported Monday.

The sharp increase of tourist arrivals amid world economic crisis signified an encouraging sign for the revival of the industry, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism commented, saying that Myanmar will become a Southeast Asian country in the near future to which Western travelers mostly visit.

Of the 148,000 foreign tourists, who came to Myanmar in 2009, 42,700 were from Thailand, 23,634 from China and 14,400 from the United States.

The number of European visitors reached 47,161, accounting for 20 percent.

Of them, French travelers stood 10,225 representing the largest number of visitors from among European countries who toured Myanmar, followed by German tourists with 8,788 ranking the second from the continent.

The tourist arrivals in Myanmar once fell in 2008 especially in the months after deadly cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar in early May of the year.

Myanmar has been striving for the revival of tourism industry amid that hard time when the country is in a process of rehabilitation after storm and the global economy was experiencing a downturn.

Meanwhile, the ministry is making efforts to promote its international tourism market in cooperation with international and domestic airlines, tour operators and some travel agencies.

Aimed at introducing the country's attractive tourist sites and promoting the international tourism market through foreign media, the Myanmar Marketing Committee has planned more domestic package trips to bring international travel agencies to the country's famous tourist sites such as Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inlay regions in the current travel season which started in October last year.

Besides, domestic travel agencies, airlines and hotels are also urged to to play their active role in the move for attracting more tourists to the country.

According to the ministry, of a total of 652 hotels in the country, 35 are being operated under foreign investment, mostly from Singapore, Thailand, Japan and China's Hong Kong.