Monday, 18 November 2019

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Burma tourism hits the 1 million mark

Burma will receive one million visitors in 2012, according to the country’s Minister of Hotels and Tourism Htay Aung.

Passengers board a plane at Yangon International Airport. Photo: Mizzima
Passengers board a plane at Yangon International Airport. Photo: Mizzima
Speaking at the “Myanmar Tourism Master Plan” seminar at the Amara Hotel in Naypyitaw last week, the minister said that arrivals at Rangoon Airport were up 50 percent from January to October this year, with some 21 international airlines now registered to fly into Burma, including airlines from Japan, South Korea, China, Germany and the Middle East.

“An average of 600,000 visitors will arrive in Myanmar by the end of December, while 400,000 visitors will enter the country from border gateways,” Htay Aung told guests and reporters.

“Most of the international visits are related to business as investors flock to the commercial capital, Yangon, to check potential projects, but it gives country a valuable boost in tourism-related revenue,” he said.

According to global aviation bureau, OAG, Burma has seen an increase of 21 percent in international departures in the year 2012 with the total number of available seats now standing at 1,444,994.

In 2011, there were 1,196,673 available seats on departures, which was 25 percent up on the year before. According to OAG, the most significant rise in foreign flights was in 2010 when a 34 percent increase saw the number of seats increase to just under a million.

“Yangon International Airport has been receiving an average of 2,300 visitors daily,” Htay Aung said, speaking of the country’s main entry point.

Plans are underway to construct a new international airport north of Rangoon.

But despite the expansion of air services, Burma is struggling to meet demand. Official figures show that there are just 19,000 rooms in the country for tourist purposes with just 8,000 suitable accommodations in Rangoon.

Prices at hotels and guest houses have gone up in some cases by 300 percent in Rangoon due to the lack of rooms.
Meanwhile, poor infrastructure and transportation continues to limit options outside the former capital.

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