Categorized | Travel

Myanmar Tourism, A New Era

Myanmar tourismMyanmar Tourism:

Myanmar tourism, travel and hospitality sector is booming. According to the recently published statistics from the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism, the income of Myanmar Tourism industry has increased by over 25% in 2011 when compared to 2010 which is valued at more than 60 million US dollars. The new Myanmar government along with its tourism policies that includes Myanmar visa regulations and its positive outlook is paying off.  In terms of pure economics, it is evident that tourists are spending more money than in previous years while visiting Myanmar. According to a well known tour guide, “Usually a tourist stays in our country for about 8 days and spends 120 USD per day on average.”

More and more tourists are pouring in to see the natural beauty of Myanmar. American tourists are increasing.  Until mid 2011, only a few Americans have visited Myanmar, making up only about 1% of total visitors.  This is a result of a travel boycott which began in 1996, initiated by the Nobel Laureate for Peace, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and endorsed by the British ex-prime minister, Tony Blair along with a few selected tour groups.  Given the boycott, Myanmar tourism and in specific travel agencies barely survived.

An experience tour guide, Htun Myat said; “We have more American visitors these days. I think it is over 40% than previous years. Due to my experience, American tourists assumed they were making a shameful mistake for visiting our country.” He added.  But after Hillary Clinton, United States Secretary of State, paid a visit to Myanmar and met with president U Thein Sein and also with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, things started to change.  Clearly, there are more American tourists interested in seeing Myanmar and in Myanmar tourism.

U Tint Naung from Golden Express Travel and Tour states that, there’s more demand now than in the past. “Agents who are currently handling American tourists are now interested in Myanmar and some of them have contacted us to offer package tours with us.”  He said. In terms of popular destinations in Myanmar, Bagan is one of the top destinations in Myanmar.  Visitors also visit Mandalay, the last kingdom of Myanmar and Inle Lake to see the leg rowers.  Nowadays, tourists are also visiting some remote places such as Than Phyu Zayat, a place where many of the prisoners of war gave up their lives while constructing the “Railway of Death”, the renowned bridge over the Kwai River. Myanmar tourism and the overall travel industry is definitely seeing a change and is all for the better.

Posted on 07 February 2012

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