Friday, 21 March 2014

Booming tourism in Bagan nets fifth hotel zone

Thanks to the booming numbers of local and foreign tourists to the ancient city of Bagan, the centre of Myanmar’s culture and heritage, the Ministry of the Hotels and Tourism has decided to add a fifth hotel zone to the area.

With Bagan’s four existing hotel zones reaching full capacity, the fifth zone is being added for the convenience of tourists. However, a city plan is also being undertaken to ensure that the buildings are not located in the vicinity of the city’s ancient temples.

Myanmar’s tourism soared immensely last year, making Bagan and its ancient temples the most popular tourist destination in the country. Up to last February, there were 77 licensed hotels, motels and guesthouses, and 2,386 rooms according to the inventory kept by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

President Thein Sein, meeting with hotel zone entrepreneurs, said that tourists travel to Bagan on account of its heritage, so this heritage must be well preserved.

Although the peak season from October to May is the busiest period of touring activity in Myanmar, Bagan is also popular from June to July depending on the local climate, according to tourism industry sources. Last year, the number of tourists reached more than 2,040,000 and the travel was mostly done by flight or by auto route through Myanmar’s frontiers. Because of booming tourism in Myanmar, new routes are being shaped while existing routes are extended.

As well, new destinations for ecotourism are emerging. Putao, the Myeik Archipelagos, Naga Land, Hakha, Natma Taung and Loikaw city are promising destinations, according to the Myanmar Tourism Master Plan. And the number of foreign tourists is expected to reach as high as three million this year, said Hlaing Oo from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

“In the current period, people are becoming interested in Myanmar. They want to know what Myanmar is. They want to come and learn what business they can run in the country. Consequently, the number of tourists is increasing every year. In spite of being inferior in numbers to some of our regional neighbours, there are a lot of prospects for Myanmar,” said Hlaing Oo.

source: Eleven Myanmar
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