Myanmar Ministry of Tourism to Promote New Destinations

Myanmar, communities, destinations, eco-tourism

Elephant riding to be banned

Myanmar’s Hotels and Tourism Ministry is further striving to promote tourism by developing new modes of tourism as well as looking to create new tourism destinations.

The ministry gave licences for operation to about 1,628 hotels and guest houses, representing a total of 65,470 rooms at the end of March 2018, according to a report by the government publication, the Global New Light of Myanmar. This year, important development will be the opening of a Hilton Hotel in Mandalay and a Pullman property (AccorHotels) in Yangon.

As of December 2017, the ministry had also granted over 2,676 travel agencies, issuing 4,503 tour guide licenses, 3,449 regional tour guide licenses and 2,564 transport licenses.

The ministry is now emphasizing the promotion of eco-tourism, cultural tourism and community-based tourism in resource-rich areas, including historical landscapes, rivers, lakes, beaches, islands and forests.

Foreign tourists come into Myanmar mostly through three international airports, border checkpoints with Thailand as well as via luxury cruise liners.

The country’s Mandalay, Yangon, Bagan, Inle, Kayin and Mon state, Myeik archaeology, Chin Hills and beaches such as Chaungtha, Ngwe Saung are famous for their tourist attractions.

The Ministry decided in the last 18 months to establish eco-tourism sites and community-based tourism spots in new areas in an effort to spread tourism to more areas as it would help generating revenues for local communities. That includes Thandaunggyi in Kayin state, Pa-O community-involved tourism in Shan state, the Kayah Cultural Community Tour, community-based tourism with dolphins along the Irrawaddy River, the Phoe Kyar Elephants camp, Popa Mountain National Park, the Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary among others.

The Ministry liberalized partially conditions to establish Bed & Breakfast units as a way to bring more revenues to local communities and create accommodation for travellers in areas where investors still feel reluctant to build a hotel. A perfect example of a sustainable B&B activity is a village-stay project at Myaing Township, in rural Magway Region. Similar initiatives are likely to follow in other unknown areas for tourists.

(Partial source: Xinhua)