Tourism

Tourist arrivals in Nay Pyi Taw Airport slump

Nay Pyi Taw Airport received local and foreign 27,390 tourists last fiscal year. This number has declined by over 10,000 in the current fiscal year.

Among domestic flights, only Myanmar National Airlines, which is state-owned, made regular flights to Nay Pyi Taw. However, charter flights under other domestic airlines still fly to Nay Pyi Taw Airport.

U Bein Bridge welcomes 1,000 visitors daily

Tourists on Taungthaman Lake. (Photo-EMG)

 

Over 1,000 tourists visit the U Bein Bridge on Taungthaman Lake in Mandalay Region daily, according to the Taungthaman Boat Association.

The number of visitors dropped for a while in December 2015 before jumping back to the current level.

“There were 300 to 400 visitors a day in December. The lake is busiest in February. The number should dwindle in April, as usual,” said Soe Win, the chairperson of the association.

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.”

Myanmar plans to attract 7.5m tourists in 2020

Myanmar is planning to attract 7.5 million tourists in 2020, according to Ministry of Hotel and Tourism.

The ministry is setting out a master plan to attract tourists with six factors: transforming policies and organisations, amending the Tourism Law, preserving natural resources and culture, expanding infrastructure, preserving tourist attractions and developing human resources.

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.

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