by Feng Yingqiu
YANGON, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar has taken various measures to develop tourism in recent years as part of its efforts in boosting national economy, while drawing the highest number of tourist arrivals from member countries of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).
The PATA's recent designation helps create an attraction for more tourists to visit the country, local media said.
The PATA is an association working to promote the development of tourism in the Asia Pacific region, organizing annual travel show and paper reading sessions to boost the number of tourists in the member countries.
Myanmar also absorbs much interest from tourists with South East Asian tour.
RISING TOURIST ARRIVALS
According to official statistics, the number of tourist arrivals in Myanmar reached 106,795 in the first three months of 2011, up 24 percent from 85,519 in 2010 correspondingly.
In the whole year of 2010, a total of 791,505 travelers visited Myanmar, of whom 297,246 arrived through the Yangon International Airport. Most of the tourists came on package tour, business and social purposes.
Visitors from Thailand stood top in Myanmar's tourist arrival, followed by those from China, France, South Korea and America.
Meanwhile, travel companies from Myanmar and South Korea have recently signed a memorandum of understanding on tourism cooperation, setting a quota of 1,000 tourists from South Korea to visit Myanmar monthly.
BEACH RESORT, TOP ATTRACTION
Myanmar's famous Chaungtha beach resort in southwestern Ayeyawaddy region attracted about 150,000 visitors a year over the past decade.
The Chaungtha stands the nearest beach resort from Yangon traditionally drawing a large number of visitors, both domestic and international.
The other two famous resorts, which are Ngwesaung in the same region and Ngapali on Western Rakhine coast, also induce large number of visitors.
Over 6,000 travelers visited Ngwesaung beach in the fiscal year of 2009-10, according to the Myanmar Hoteliers Association.
The Ngwesaung beach has now been designated as the venue to host sailing contest with the 27th Southeast Asian Games in 2013.