Cambodia and Myanmar signed a memorandum of understanding on Saturday to promote the flow of national and third-country tourists to the temples of Angkor in Siem Reap and to the ancient city of Bagan in Myanmar.
The agreement was penned by Tourism Minister Thong Khon and U Onh Maung, Myanmar’s Minister of Hotel and Tourism, on the sidelines of the first International Cambodia Travel Mart (CTM) at the Sokha Hotel in Siem Reap.
Tith Chantha, secretary of state of the Ministry of Tourism, said the MoU aimed to strengthen and promote tourism cooperation between both nations, as well as boosting the flow of tourists between Cambodia and Myanmar, and from third countries.
“The MoU focuses on creating a single tourist destination, Angkor-Bagan, to attract tourists to the area for the benefit of both countries,” Mr Chantha said.
“We will also work to create direct flights from Bagan to Siem Reap.
“In addition, both sides will promote education and professional development in the industry, as well as the exchange of information and experience between both nations’ private and public sectors, particularly as it pertains to cultural tourism,” he added.
Ho Vandy, secretary-general of the Cambodian National Tourism Alliance, welcomed the agreement, which he said could expand Cambodia’s tourism market.
“It will boost tourist numbers between the two countries.
“It is a good model of development for the tourism industry, similar to what we already have with Thailand,” Mr Vandy said.
Revenue from ticket sales at the Angkor Archaeological Park reached $84 million during the first 10 months of the year, an increase of 71 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the latest report from Angkor Enterprise.
During the first nine months of 2017, Cambodia welcomed 3.5 million international tourists, a 12 percent increase year-on-year.