Tourism Minister Htay Aung said 80,000 tourists visited Mandalay in the first four months of the year, nearly half the number it received last year when 200,000 tourists visited the city.
He made the remarks during a meeting at the end of last month with tourism business owners, managers, and guides from Mandalay.
The numbers are considerable considering that only five international carriers have direct flights to Mandalay. Singapore Airlines will become the sixth this month, Htay Aung said.
Mandalay is the last of Myanmar’s royal capitals, as well as the city from which tourists take day trips to Pyin Oo Lwin or continue their travels to Shan State.
Because most tourists make only day-trips to Pyin Oo Lwin from Mandalay, Htay Aung urged the local tourism industry to develop new destinations near the hill town in order to encourage visitors to spend more time there.
Tourist arrivals to Myanmar have risen every year since 2011, causing a shortage of hotel rooms during peak seasons. Room rates also remain among the highest in the region, according to industry data.
Tourism revenues totaled nearly US$940 million (Ks 940 billion) last year, creating tens of thousands of jobs in Myanmar.
source: Eleven Myanmar