Bagan welcomed 160,000 visitors up to August, an eight per cent increase over the same period of 2015 (January to August) , according to a press conference held last month 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 visitors. The 6.8 magnitude quake on August 27 affected nearly 400 of more than 3,000 religious buildings in the region. According to authorities, Bagan itself saw 185 pagodas destroyed or damaged.
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.”