Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia in tourism pact

Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand will launch a joint tourism package
to bring quick money into crisis-hit economies, a Thai minister said

The Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) yesterday declared an “IMT-GT Celebration Year” for the package.

was inspired by the success of 2008’s “Visit IMT-GT Year”. The three
countries will jointly promote tourism, said PM’s Office Minister
Virachai Virameteekul.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva
discussed the plan with Indonesian President Susilo Yudhoyono and
Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi at an IMT-GT summit.

One idea is a joint promotion of medical tourism, Virachai told reporters, without detailing the plan.

Set up in 1993, the IMT-GT aims to strengthen sub-regional cooperation and economic growth.

It has a five-year road map covering infrastructure, halal food, trade and tourism running till 2011.

Abhisit suggested exploring synergy among individual development plans to attract investors.

could connect its Southern Seaboard Development Plan with Malaysia’s
northern and eastern corridor economic regions, Virachai said.

The IMT-GT scheme covers 10 Indonesian provinces, eight Malaysian states and 14 southern Thai provinces.

hopes the scheme will also benefit the predominantly Muslim deep South,
where ongoing violence has killed more than 3,200 people since 2004.

The Governors’ and Chief Ministers’ Forum will play a key role in promoting trade, investment and tourism, Virachai said.

The three leaders urged the forum to improve mechanisms to ensure growth of local private sectors, he said.