YANGON, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar is expecting to restart domestic tourism in the third quarter of this year as a first phase for the country's tourism recovery under the COVID-19 Tourism Relief Plan, an official from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism told Xinhua on Saturday.

Under the COVID-19 Tourism Relief Plan recently launched by the ministry, domestic tourism will resume soon to help 20 to 25 percent of the tourism sector recover.

The tourism ministry and Religious Affairs and Culture Ministry are in talks to reopen the pagodas and cultural sites so as to restart domestic tourism very soon.

Meanwhile, regional tourism will resume in the fourth quarter of this year, by creating travel bubbles with neighboring countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand, the official said.

The ministry is expecting Asian tourism with countries like China and Japan in early 2021, looking at 50 to 60 percent recovery of the industry while international tourism is expected to come back in early 2022 with 80 to 90 percent recovery.

The relief plan consists of three main strategies which are survival - self-finance and stimulus package, reopening - relaxation of lockdown and quarantine and re-launching - reinventing Myanmar tourism and relaxing of regulation accordingly with respective timelines.

Under the plan, the ministry has taken measures such as waiving one-year license fees, deferring lease fees charged to affected state-owned hotels for six months, organizing online training, daily allowance paid training and COVID-19 Relief Package training, and running Digital Marketing Campaign, Branding Strategy and E-commerce websites.