8% rise in Bagan visitors

The tourists observing the sunset in Bagan. (Photo-Kyi Naing/EMG)

Bagan welcomed 160,000 visitors as of August, 8 per cent more than during the same period last year, according to a press conference held by the Myanmar Tourism Federation.

“We expect 300,000 visitors to Bagan this year. The earthquake has damaged the region but not its tourist industry,” said Than Htut Khine, director of Bagan at the Hotel and Tourism Ministry.

The Ministry of Religion and Culture, Department of Archaeology, Museums and Libraries and the experts from the United Nations cultural agency, Unesco, have joined forces to repair the quake-hit pagodas.

Some pagodas have been closed to visitorsThe 6.8 magnitude quake on August 27 affected nearly 400 of more than 3,000 religious buildings in Bagan. 

Zaw Wade of the Myanmar Hotelier Association said: “As a Bagan native myself, I know the region will not run out of go-to places; many pagodas are left unaffected. There are 82 hotels in four zones.”

The ministry said it was working with the Japan International Cooperation Agency for the safety of travellers in several destinations.