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China backs ASEAN's tourism plan

2011-01-19 14:03

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - China, Japan and South Korea pledged to support ASEAN's five-year tourism strategic plan, said a joint media statement on Tuesday after the 10th ASEAN and China, Japan and South Korea (ASEAN+3) tourism ministerial meeting.

"The ministers from China, Japan and South Korea expressed their strong support for and willingness to provide assistance to ASEAN to successfully implement the ASEAN tourism strategic plan 2011-2015," read the statement.

The support was made after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) tourism ministers endorsed the strategic plan in Phnom Penh on Monday in the 14th meeting of ASEAN tourism ministers.

According to the statement, the strategic plan is to promote intra-ASEAN tourism marketing, to develop tourism products, to improve quality tourism, to build human resources development, and to attract investments for the sector.

"The three countries' support is very significant to achieve the strategic goal by 2015," Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon said Tuesday after the meeting.

Lin Shan, inspector at the department of tourism affairs for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan of China National Tourism Administration, said Tuesday after the meeting that China has envisaged that there is a bright future in tourism cooperation between China and ASEAN countries.

"ASEAN countries are rich in tourism resources and diversified tourism products and there are a lot of complementarities between China and ASEAN countries," he said.

China and ASEAN countries have cooperated well on tourism development in the past, he said, adding that "in the future, China is willing to expand tourism cooperation with ASEAN and support technically and financially to help ASEAN to fulfill its tourism strategic plan."

According to the joint-statement, despite economic slowdown in 2009 and 2010, tourist arrivals of ASEAN+3 countries in 2010 remained resilient with more than 101 million arrivals, which is 14 percent growth compared to 2009.

Of the figure, ASEAN countries attracted 65 million visitors, up 12 percent.

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