China and Asean to work together


China will work with other Asian nations on such new regional tourism developments as cross- border travel, and tours in the Mekong River and along the Silk Road across the Eurasian Continent, says its tourism chief He Guangwei.

China hoped to achieve a prosperous Asian tourism industry through its cooperation and exchange of information with other countries and regions, He, director of the National Tourism Administration (NTA), told an Asian tourism ministers meeting during the Bo'ao Forum for Asia - Tourism Conference.

The NTA would also work with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to resolve tourism-related issues as China and ASEAN countries had agreed to set up a China-Asean free trade zone by 2010, said Guangwei.

His suggestion was positively received by tourism ministers of countries such as Myanmar and Singapore, who suggested setting up mechanisms to ensure plans be implemented.

During the meeting in Guilin, a noted tourist city in south China, tourism ministers from 13 Asian countries and a representative from Egypt discussed how to cooperate over information exchanges, product promotion and professional training to boost their tourism businesses.

They also agreed to work together to create a safe environment for tourists to restore confidence after the terrorist attacks of the past year particularly following the Bali bombing last month.