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Myanmar to hold Miss Tourism Contest for 2010

Myanmar will hold a miss tourism contest for the first time in Yangon in February, in a bid to promote the country's tourism industry, sources with the Hoteliers Association said on Tuesday.

Sponsored by the association, the miss tourism contest for 2010 will be launched on Feb. 12 at the famous Inya Lake Hotel to produce tourism diplomat for the Myanmar association.

The competition will be attached with a fun fair involving private travel and tour companies, the sources said.

Winners will be awarded with 1 million Kyats (1,000 U.S. dollars) for Miss Tourism, 500,000 Kyats for first runner up, 300, 000 Kyats for second runner up, 200,000 Kyats each for miss best costume and miss photogenic, the sources added.

Hoteliers in Myanmar are making efforts to make more investment in the hotels and tourism sector this year in the light of revival of the sector after declination of tourist arrivals in the previous years.

Despite drop in 2007 and 2008, the number of tourist arrivals rose apparently in 2009, the hoteliers said

Yangon received a high number of over 7,000 foreign tourists monthly in some of the months last year.

According to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, the number of tourists arrivals in Myanmar through the Yangon International Airport increased by over 20,000 in the first half (April- September) of the fiscal year 2009-10, registering 111,044 as compared with the same period of 2008-09's 83,047.

Travelers mostly came from Asian countries, North America and East European countries.

The tourist arrivals once fell in 2008 especially in the months after deadly cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar in early May of the year.

Myanmar targets to get 1 million foreign tourists in the present 2009-10.