Myanmar tops list with Southeast Asian destinations
Koh Samui placed third on the list last
year, but has been replaced by Myanmar, or the Land of Golden Pagodas.
Off-limits to foreigners for years, the country is back on the international
tourist map after its government held general elections last year and
released democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi after 15 years of house arrest.
Myanmar, long isolated, boasts numerous
tourist and cultural attractions including Inle Lake in the eastern part of
the country, Ngapali Beach on its western coast.
Listed in 15th place is the famous
Halong Bay in Vietnam where visitors can enjoy a spectacular view of a
myriad of limestone islands and islets. The destination is also a Unesco
World Heritage site and one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Koh Rong in Cambodia is in 23rd place.
It is the country's second largest island 78km2 in size located in the Gulf
of Thailand. It takes about two hours to get there from the mainland. The
highlight is not only a stretch of beach 43km long, but also its rich marine
The last Southeast Asian destination on
the list is Malacca. Malaysia's oldest city, 28th on the list, is also a
Unesco World Heritage and it pulls in tourists with its unusual architecture
and cuisine that reflect mixed Portuguese, Dutch and British influences
dating back to its colonial roots.
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Mae Jo University poll on Royal Flora
Mae Jo University recently conducted a
poll in Chiang Mai asking people what they think of the Royal Flora
Ratchapruek 2011 which will be held until March 14, 2012.
Flora Wheel is a major attraction for most respondents of the poll.
93.3 percent of those polled believe
that Chiang Mai Province was prepared to host the international
horticultural event while 6.7 percent felt that Chiang Mai was not yet ready
because of lack of transportation, car parking and low tourist numbers.
96.2 percent agreed that Expo would
stimulate tourism in Chiang Mai as it would show the beauty of the Province
to visitors as well as the many activities on offer. They believed it would
extend the tourist season while only 3.8 percent felt that was not the case
as the tickets are expensive and not all tourists would come just for the
Royal Flora Expo.
A majority of respondents, 64.9
percent, felt that the Giant Flora Wheel was the number one attraction while
the second was the Imagination Garden of Lights while the mascot, Nong Khun
came in third with 34.9 percent.
When asked about suggestions to promote
the Royal Flora Ratchapruek 2011 61.1 percent said there should be
communication to help tourists to travel easily. Followed by 55.8 percent
who felt it should be the promotion of local tourism and other attractions
as well as reduce the price of admission, that prices of food and drink
should be reasonable.
80.7 percent of those polled said they
plan to visit the Expo for special events and will go as a family. 19.3
percent said they do not plan to go as the tickets are expensive and travel
expenses would be too high.
Sihanoukville gets regular air link
By Reinhard Hohler
Cambodia’s southern coastal province of
Sihanoukville has finally received scheduled flights with Cambodia Angkor
Air’s launch of thrice-weekly services from Siem Reap.
The flag carrier inaugurated the route
on December 19, which it operates to Sihanoukville International Airport
using a 65-seat ATR72 aircraft.
One of the country’s three airports
that are developed and managed by Cambodia Airports, Sihanoukville
International Airport had not attracted any regular flights up until now.
Cambodia Airports CEO Emmanuel
Menanteau said: “We are proud and delighted to have the national flag
carrier be the first airline to launch scheduled flights to/from Sihanouk
“Regular air access is critical to
unlock the huge potential of the Kingdom’s coastal area, to create
opportunities for tourism and trade and to drive the socio-economic
development of Cambodia,” he added.
Cambodia Airports has so far invested
more than US$30 million on the development of Sihanoukville Airport,
including an extension of the runway from 1,400m to 2,500m, an enlargement
of its shoulders to 45m, and the doubling of passenger terminal floor area
Some 14% tourism growth in Cambodia
By Reinhard Hohler
According to media sources in Phnom
Penh, international tourist arrivals in Cambodia has increased 14 percent
year-on-year in the first eleven months this year, the statistics of the
Ministry of Tourism revealed on Friday.
From January to November this year, the
country has welcomed 2. 58 million foreign visitors, up 14 percent from the
same period last year, the report mentioned.
Viet Nam topped the chart among the top
ten arrivals with 564,532 tourists, up 20 percent, followed by South Korea
with 304,922, up 17 percent, and Chinese tourists at third up 37 percent
During the same period, Thai tourists
to Cambodia declined by 26 percent to 101,118 due to the two countries'
border clashes earlier this year.
Furthermore, the report mentioned that
51 percent of the visitors travelled to the country by air, 46 percent by
land and the rest by waterway.
The Minister of Tourism Dr Thong Khon
said Cambodia sees China as the big potential market for Cambodia's tourism
and the country expected to attract at least 1 million Chinese tourists by
The tourism industry is one of the
major four pillars supporting Cambodia's economy. In 2010, the sector
received a total of 2.5 million foreign tourists, generating a revenue of
1.75 billion US dollars.