Last week end, Myanmar launched a brand-new tourism campaign, “Myanmar, Be Enchanted,” in a bid to attract more visitors as the country experiencing again a slowdown in total arrivals this year.
Hotels and Tourism Minister U Ohn Maung launched “Myanmar, Be Enchanted” on Saturday to highlight the country’s mystical charms and its wealth of tourist attractions. The slogan replaces the former slogan “Let the Journey Begin” campaign introduced not so long ago, back to 2013. This was the year the country first opened its doors to foreigners following the launching of a democratisation process in both the economy and political field.
The new slogan received support from foreign travellers as a survey about “Myanmar, Be Enchanted” was conducted at Yangon International Airport last April. Respondents liked it, as it reflected the good experience they had while visiting the country. The new campaign’s ‘Myanmar’ logo is based on the shapes and rounded characters of the Myanmar alphabet.
“Myanmar tourism is growing, that is why we introduced the new campaign to promote Myanmar,” U Ohn Maung said in a speech during the launching ceremony.
While the slogan probably reflects the efforts in the tourism industry to open up more the country to foreign travellers and highlights recent improvement in tourism services and in destinations, the refugee crisis in Rakhine State continues to put a cast on the evolution of tourism demand.
The new campaign is indeed expected to provide stimulus for the tourism industry. Government data showed that from January to June, the number of tourists in the country dropped by about 38,000 to 1.8 million, compared to the same period last year. There was continuous decline of Western visitors due to the political situation. Another problem faced by Myanmar tourism is the lack of attractive fares and prices to stay inside the country. Air tickets remain expensive with generally unattractive flying times which does not encourage both domestic and international tourism.
However, a surge by Chinese tourists – up by over 30% between January and July- is likely to revert the slight decline in tourist arrivals. Myanmar tourism could probably end up the year with a growth in arrivals of up to 5%.