Jan 18, 2011
Phnom Penh - Cambodia and Myanmar have agreed to begin direct flights in a bid to boost tourism, local media reported Wednesday.
Cambodia's Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said the twice-weekly flights would link Myanmar's capital Yangon and Cambodia's tourist centre of Siem Reap, home to the Angkor Wat temple complex.
He said Myanmar Airways International would operate the flights, with the first scheduled for February 23.
Thong Khon announced the deal at the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF), a week-long gathering of the Association of South-East Asian Nations in Phnom Penh to boost tourism to the region and between the group's 10 member states.
He said Cambodia was also using the opportunity of hosting the ATF to try and negotiate improved flight connections with other countries.
'We are hopeful that if we have direct flights with Russia and Japan, their tourists will increasingly come to our country,' he told the Phnom Penh Post newspaper.
Around 2.5 million people visited Cambodia last year, of whom just 2,600 were from Myanmar. Tourism is one of Cambodia's key economic pillars.