YANGON, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar Second Vice President U Henry Van Thio has stressed the need for development of community-based tourism industry in Danu Self-Administered Zone in eastern Shan state, Myanmar News Agency reported Monday.
Inspecting a village of the zone in Pindaya township Sunday, U Henry Van Thio, who is chairman of the Central Committee for the Development of the National Tourism Industry, emphasized the need for necessary preparation for providing better tourism services in response to the government's visa relaxation for Asian travelers starting October.
The vice president looked into some tourist sites such as Shwe Oo Min Cave, a green tea factory, a coffee farm and a coffee mill in Pindaya and Ywangan townships covered by the zone as well as an elephant camp in Kalaw township in southern Shan state.
Located at Meikhtila-Taunggyi road, the 364-hectare elephant camp has been promoted into a green business, generating job opportunity for elephant workers, turning the camp into a public vacation and education center, encouraging public involvement in the environmental conservation activities, promoting eco-tourism and protecting the elephants.
The vice president called for exerting efforts for greater success of the camp that has become popular within a short period after its inauguration and for turning the facility into all-season destination.
Meanwhile, at a recent meeting of the committee, the vice president also called for cooperation among tourist organizations to promote the tourism industry in terms of traditional customs and cuisine of ethnic minorities in the country.
The country has recently announced granting visa exemption to Japanese and South Korean visitors as well as visa-on-arrival to visitors from China including Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions starting from Oct.1 .
According to the figures of the Hotel and Tourism Ministry, the country attracted over 1.72 million foreign visitors in the first half of this year, targeting over 7 million visitors by 2020.
The country is also striving to promote eco-, cultural- and community-based tourism in resource-rich areas such as historical landscapes, rivers, lakes, beaches, islands and forests.
According to the statistics, tourist arrivals in the country reached 2.9 million in 2016.