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ASEAN+3 pledge support

SENIOR officials from China, Japan and South Korea agreed to develop and support ASEAN tourism yesterday, in order to boost visitor numbers.

As part of the ASEAN Tourism Forum, being held in Phnom Penh, representatives from throughout Asia met at the capital’s Sofitel hotel yesterday morning.

Tith Chantha, general director of Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism, told reporters after the meeting: “All the ASEAN countries appreciate China, Japan and Korea [known as ASEAN+3] for their support.”

“We want ASEAN+3 countries continue to promote tourism in the region and facilitate tourists in order to attract more and more visitor to come to ASEAN countries. This is our goal,” he said.

He said members of the ten-nation bloc wanted the three additional countries to promote human resources development within tourism - through training courses, seminars, workshops - as well as help in facilitating visits from information technology experts.

“We also asked India and Russia to continue to promote and cooperate to push tourists to come to the ASEAN region,” he said.

In 2010, there are more than 70 million visitors to the ten ASEAN members, of which 10 millions visitors come from ASEAN +3 countries, Tith Chantha said.

A representative from China, Japan and Korea said they would help “promote the region as a unique tourism destination”.

A strategy for tourism development in ASEAN+3 from 2011 to 2015 was tabled during the meeting, and will be discussed during a top-level meeting between ministers of tourism from the bloc today.

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