August 19, 2016

Myanmar on track to meet foreign tourism target

Ngapali Beach, in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, draws tourists from around the world, especially Europeans.
Ngapali Beach, in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, draws tourists from around the world, especially Europeans.

Given the latest figures projecting more than four million foreign visitors to Myanmar this year, the data indicates a continuation of rapid growth in the country’s tourism industry, which is on pace for another record year.
Union Minister for Hotels and Tourism U Htay Aung said Myanmar is on track to hit its visitor mark for 2015, with arrivals of 4.2 million visitors up to the end of this November.
With the impressive growth that has boosted the industry, the number of globetrotters entering Myanmar by air, water and land will grow to its target of 4.5 million visitors this year, he predicted.
According to the ministry’s statistics, the latest calculation of international entrants to Myanmar has surpassed 2014’stotal of 3.08 million arrivals.
Data showed Myanmar’s potential for being a top destination is one the rise, encouraging a forecast made by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) that Myanmar will become one of the top tourism destinations over next 10 years as of 2015.
Myanmar received 3.08 million visitors last year, up from 2.04 million a year earlier, which doubled the one million visitors who came in 2012. Myanmar’s tourism industry generated US$1.14 billion in 2014, up from $926 million in 2013 and $534 million in 2012.
According to the ministry’s data as of 31 October, the total number of hotel rooms grew from 47,911 in August to 48,737 in October. Likewise, the total number of licensed hotels increased from 1,225 to 1,241 during the two-month period.
The WTTC forecast that the direct contribution of travel and tourism to the country’s gross domestic production is expected to grow to2.7 percent of GDP by 2025, saying that it constituted 2.2 percent of the GDP last year, up from 1.6 percent in 2013.
With more investment entering the sector, job opportunities are multiplying. The WTTC predicted that travel and tourism’s contribution to employment will account for 1,057,000 jobs directly by 2025, an increase of 7percent over the next ten years.


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