Tourism

Backpacking on the rise in Nyaungshwe, Inle

According to the Nyaungshwe branch of the Myanmar Tour Guide Association (MTGA), the number of individual tourists visiting Nyaungshwe and Inle Lake in Shan State has been steadily rising.

“Lately, the foreign individual tourist (FIT) market is thriving because of easier communication and access. There has been no decrease in the number of tourists here on package tours. Age differences is one of the key factors,” said Sai Win, chair of the MTGA.

Post-election tourism booms

According to industry experts, tourism is picking up speed after the elections.

Tourists from the United States of American, United Kingdom and Australian tourists are found to be increasingly frequent visitors according to Lin Myat Htun, CEO of Maing Fong Travels & Tour.

“Normally October marks the tourist open season but things slowed down since the election was held. Most foreign visitors are American, English and Australians.”

Work starts on circular train upgrade

Work to upgrade Yangon's circular rail line started on December 15, according to the Ministry of Rail Transport.

To promote rail use, the project, partly  funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is due to raise speeds to 40 mph.

“JICA will provide technology know-how and investment,” said Kyaw Soe Lwin, the manager of Myanmar Railways.

Bagan entry to be charged in kyat

The entry fee into Bagan heritage site will be collected in kyat from January 1, according to the Ministry of Culture.

The fee will be Ks25,000, equivalent to the current US$20.

The Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank reportedly complains about the stained and torn dollar bills that are handed over and only accepts them on a monthly basis, reducing state revenue.

The move is also an attempt to reduce dollarisation with travel agencies and tour guides being informed.

Bagan Region Tourism Development Project to include 16 tasks

Up to 16 initial projects will be implemented under the Bagan Region Tourism Development Project, according to the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism (Bagan Sub-office).

A team of experts from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been hired to improve the tourism system in Bagan and to implement infrastructure development and human resources development over three years beginning in November 2014.

Bagan expects more visitors

Bagan, the country’s major tourist destination, expects to receive more international visitors than in previous years, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

The ministry’s statistics show 250,000 tourists visited the region last year.

The visitors between this January and September reached 200,000 and the year’s total was expected to hit 300,000.

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