Monday, 24 February 2014

Tourism federation in talks to collect Bagan fees

Entrance fees for the Bagan tourism zone will soon be collected by the Myanmar Tourism Federation, with part of the proceeds going toward developing Myanmar tourism and the Bagan region, says federation joint secretary general U Khin Aung Htun.

Fees are currently collected by the Ministry of Culture but the federation is negotiating with the government to take over responsibility. A deal could be reached as soon as April, officials say.

“We will begin collecting fees no later than October 1. It could be sooner depending upon our discussion with the government,” U Khin Aung Htun said.

MTF will pay 85 percent of the proceeds to the government, while 5pc will go toward Bagan regional development projects and the remaining 10pc will be used to ensure Myanmar is promoted at international travel forums and conferences.

On average, more than 1100 tourists a day have visited Bagan so far this year and zone entrance fees, which increased from US$10 to $15 in July 2013, bring in millions of dollars in revenue each year.

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Mandalay regional government and Bagan city elders have been discussing the proposal since January, but no agreement has yet been reached, said U Myo Oo, deputy director of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library.

“We still collect the Bagan entrance fees. An agreement for the MTF to collect fees could come in April,” he added.

In financial year 2011-12, about 120,000 visited Bagan, rising to about 188,000 the following year.

Tourism industry leaders said the arrangement would ensure more money is invested in services at Bagan, one of the leading archaeological sites in Asia.

“When MTF collects Bagan zone entrance fees, it will help to improve services in Bagan like security and cleaning, and contribute to the maintenance of important sites and pagodas,” the vice president of the Union of Myanmar Travel Association, U Thet Lwin Toh, said last week.

source: The Myanmar Times
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