Thai provinces on the Andaman Coast are keen to expand maritime tourism to Myanmar as part of regional efforts to draw more tourists to the two countries.
Thailand’s Tourism and sports permanent secretary Pongpanu Svetarundra held talks with Myanmar Minister for Hotels and Tourism Ohn Maung in the resort island on Sunday to follow up a memorandum of understanding on tourism cooperation signed between the two countries in Nay Pyi Taw two weeks ago.
It calls for collaboration on maritime tourism between Phuket, Phangnga, Krabi, Trang and Ranong in Thailand and coastal areas in Myanmar, with the focus on Myiek, a coastal town in the Tanintharyi region.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry has promoted Phuket as a main stop for luxury cruises and yachts. The arrivals of the vessels will spill benefits to other provinces on the Andaman coast.
Mr Pongpanu said expanding the plan to include Myanmar will bring mutual benefits to the two neighbours.
Revenue from the tourism sector accounts for about 10% of Thailand's GDP.
Ohn Maung said the Myanmar government supported more sea, land and air links with Thailand to promote tourism. He hoped Thailand will offer flights from Bangkok to Dawei, Myiek and Kawthaung to encourage more travellers to visit southern Myanmar.