Vice President U Henry Van Thio attends Myanmar Tourism Conference 2018
Promoting tourism sector in Myanmar requires more cooperation through the Public-Private Partnership system between the government and the people, said Vice President U Henry Van Thio yesterday at the Myanmar Tourism Conference in Nay Pyi Taw.
He also urged all participants of the conference to make the best and most effective discussions to create a conducive enviroment for the travel sector in Myanmar.
Vice President U Henry Van Thio, Chairman of the Central Committee for the Development of the National Tourism Industry (CCDNTI), made the speech at the opening ceremony of the Myanmar Tourism Conference 2018.
The ceremony was attended by former President U Htin Kyaw and wife Daw Su Su Lwin, union ministers, Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman and wife, state/region ministers, departmental heads, diplomats, travel entities and officials.
He also expressed his hope that the national-level conference will support the implementation of the tourism sector development. The coordination meetings of CCDNTI were held twice last year.
Experts gathered at the conference to explain tour destination management, travel products development, development of small and medium enterprises related to the travel business, travel business market strategy and tax matters, technology in travel business, investment opportunities in training to raise the quality of the travel occupation and the future of the sector.
“The round-table discussion and other discussions would find solutions on how to further develop each sector,” said U Henry Van Thio.
The decisions based on the outcome of the discussions would be announced during the future work processes, he said.
He also called for conducting systematic and sustainable development of the travel business, a region-wise travel destination feasibility study, project proposal and brainstorming workshops need to be conducted with experts, relevant authorities and the local people. Long- and short-term projects were to be set and implemented continuously.
Citing the example of the ASEAN region travel business development, he noted that international tourist arrivals to the ASEAN region were 115 million in 2016 and 125 million in 2017. There was an 8.4 per cent increase from 2016 to 2017.
Of the arrivals, up to 42 per cent was intra-ASEAN travel. Therefore, more efforts must be made to attract intra-ASEAN travellers to Myanmar, said the vice president.
Among the eastern countries, tourists from China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand make up for the top arrivals in Myanmar, while from the west, the top countries were the United States, France, Britain and Germany. “We now need to target the countries with the largest numbers,” he said.
Participation in international travel events plays an important role. Having sufficient funds to participate in such events is also a requirement. As the government was developing all the sectors, it had difficulties in allocating sufficient funds for the travel sector development. The private sector was urged to cooperate and coordinate among themselves for the development of the travel sector.
All the countries in the world were making arrangements to make it easier for visitors to visit their countries through ports, airports, and over the land border by relaxing visa requirements such as reducing visa fees or permitting visa-free entry. At the moment, the entry from European countries was not substanital, but an arrangement to relax the visa requirements to increase visitors from the ASEAN+3 countries of Japan, China and Republic of Korea is being made.
More market promotions must be conducted and international advertisements need to be made for the world to know the country as a travel destination. On the other hand, our hotel and transport rate should not be above the international rates and the service provided should be value-for-money to the visitors.
It was important to have regular visitors and raise the quality of the travel destinations. When new travel destinations were being created, care should be taken to retain our culture and natural resources. When there were more destinations that were attractive and offer much to study and visit, more people would come, stay longer and spend more, he said.
A sustainable travel business was a lucrative business and care should be taken to maintain the peace and stability in the country, as well as the safety of the international travellers. If safety and security were prioritized, it would hinder development, and if the business is prioritized, unnecessary problems could occur. Therefore, arrangements needed to be made and implemented to ensure a balanced development, he stated. All were urged to discuss openly and suggest systematic and realistic programmes for the development of the Myanmar travel destination, and for international and local visitors to visit the country in a better and enjoyable way.
Next, Vice President U Henry Van Thio was presented with a Myanmar Tourism Conference 2018 commemorative gift by Union Minister for Hotels and Tourism U Ohn Maung.
Later, U Henry Van Thio took commemorative group photographs with former President U Htin Kyaw and wife and the attendees at the ceremony.
Following this, the vice president and his delegation viewed travel photographs displayed in international tourism events.
Next, the Myanmar tourism Conference 2018 programmes were continued. The conference was held with the aim to include travel business in the priority economic policy of the state, to showcase the importance of the travel sector, raise and maintain the image of Myanmar, maintain the culture and traditions of the ethnic nationals in the states, protect and conserve the natural environment and share the opportunities in the travel sector with the people.—Myanmar News Agency