Tourism industry prepares for implications of Brexit vote

Tourists seen on Shwedagon pagoda.

Myanmar should reduce air ticket fares and hotel accommodation fees as the declining pound caused by Britain’s exit from the euro may have an impact on the tourism industry, entrepreneurs and organisations involved in the tourism have sector said yesterday.

The value of a pound dropped from US$1.7 to US$ 1.3 after the UK voted to leave the EU on 23 June. Local hotels charge fees of US$200 a day. Some famous hotels even charge more than US$ 1000 a day. Local air ticket fares range between $100 and S200. As a result, the number of tourist arrivals is relatively low compared with other countries.

Maung Maung Swe, vice-chairperson of the Myanmar Tourism Board, said: “Change in currency may hamper not only tourism sector but also economic sector. Sterling has immediately plunged shortly after the Brexit vote. There may be little impacts on tour companies which offer tour services to British tourists, but not all companies. Currently, we are still monitoring the currency condition.”