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January 18, 2019

Myanmar Tourism Industry needed to be developed further

Myanmar Tourism Industry can be traced back to the time of Burma, [Myanmar was called Burma previously] during the British colonialism of South East Asia. The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company Limited [IFC] has had a taste of tourism, which rendered to Prince Edward of England by taking him on board of its boat which traveled up stream to Mandalay in 1889. And at its peak business period in 1920 when thousands of Dutch tourists were flocking to Bali, the IFC with 600 vessels carrying 9-million passengers a year was the largest river boat transport of a company in the world. After Burma Independence, a Tourist Information Services [TIS] was formed under the Union of Burma Airways which was the principal agency for marketing and facilitating tourism in Burma during 1958 under the parliamentary Government of U Nu. Then TIS was incorporated into Tourist Burma under Burma Economic Development Corporation [BEDC] in 1961. Then in 1971 TIS and Tourism Burma were merged together to form the Hotel and Tourism Corporation under the Ministry of Trade. The Government then realized that tourism should be a separate entity in its own right. The Myanmar Tourism Law was passed in 1990 and the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism was set up in 1992, the two-week visa was extended to one-month in early 1990 and border crossing was opened up.
In recent days most countries have carried on tourism business in line with responsible tourism practice, it has responsibility for achieving sustainable development through tourism; identifying economic, social and environmental issues, how it can help the people in the host communities towards sustainable  development, thus aiming for maximizing economic social and environmental development and minimizing cost for different tourist destinations.
In 2013 the World Travel and Tourism Council has been making research for 20-years  in order to assess the value of money of travel and tourism total contribution to the global economy which has risen 9.5% of global GDP [USD 7-trillion] not only out pacing the other sectors of the economy but also growing faster than other significant sectors such as financial and business services, transport and manufacturing and creating nearly 266 million jobs more supported  by travel and tourism, making a clear cut of 1 in 11 of all jobs in the world. The crying demand for travel and tourism, together with the ability to generate high level of employment continue to prove the importance as a tool for economic development and jobs creation .The outlook for travel and tourism in 2014 is also very positive with total travel and tourism GDP growth forecast to reach 4.3%. Much of the growth is being driven by higher consumer spending as the recovery from recession gathers pace and is becoming firmly established. It is estimated tourists are expected to spend more money for trip and stay longer on their holidays in 2014. Travel and tourism forecast over the next 10-years also look extremely favorable with the predicted rate of over 4% annually. It is necessary to require destination confirmation and regional authorities, particularly those emerging markets, to create favorable tourist business climate for investment in the infrastructure and human resources support, necessary to facilitate a successful and sustainable tourism sectors.
The European Council on Tourism and Trade has handed over to Myanmar the “World Best Tourist Destination Award” in 2014. This award would attract more tourists to Myanmar, so tourism business is one of the most promising industry at present for Myanmar. The award is conferred to countries embracing tourism as a resource for cultural and social development, who have respects for ethics of human relation and preserve cultural heritages.  As a receiver, the city or country must prove their commitment towards sustainable development, cultural tourism and preservation of historical heritages.
Myanmar has offered many kinds of tourism services to the world, they are; Marine tourism, cultural tourism, ecotourism, community tourism and trekking trips to the snow-capped mountains in the North of Myanmar. Myanmar was a country for more years ago which has been considered as a sensitive issue for tourists to visit Myanmar and the atmosphere of tourism activities was completely undeveloped. At present we have about 1300 licensed tour companies and more than 20 domestic and foreign airlines flying to and from Myanmar and hotel accommodations have been increased by 6000 rooms gradually each year.
After the three ancient “Pyu cities “Beikthano, Sriksetra and Hanlin recently have been entered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Preparation has been started to have Bagan, one of the ancient heritage to be listed as one of the World Heritage Site in 2014. Began is situated in the central Myanmar, it was the Capital of Myanmar Kingdom from 9th to 13th century and the remains of some 2000 Buddhist temples and pagodas in Began, having a domestic airport with daily flights to and from Yangon as one of its transportation advantage, visitors can also get to Began by cars, buses, trains or water transport via the Irrawaddy River. As Began was listed in the list as one of the 10 cultural sites of the world, it stands out for her beauty and her heritage fame in the Myanmar culture. For the historical legacy of endowment of these Myanmar heritage sites, the country could benefit in getting technical assistances and financial assistances, as well as the increase in the income of tourism sector and a great job opportunities.
The brief descriptions of some of the famous places, temples and pagodas  of Myanmar are being given in the following, they definitely needed to make known to the World Communities through the modern techniques of mass media communication;–
—Among the many townships of Myanmar for foreign tourists to visit is the most populated and the cosmopolitan city is Yangon City [End of strife], the former Capital of Myanmar, with a population of more than 5-million people, the most important commercial hub with the largest number of colonial buildings. While many high-rise residential and commercial buildings have been constructed or renovated throughout downtown and Greater Yangon in the past two decades. Most satellite towns that around the City continue to be deeply improvised. The official Capital of Myanmar has been relocated to Nay Pyi Taw.
—Mandalay is a hot and considered to be the second largest city of Myanmar, but Mandalay Hill, Mahamuni Pagoda, the Palace moat, Inlay Lake with its unique leg-rowers of the 50-feet long boat is the only kind of leg-rowers of a long slim racing boat in the world.
—Mrauk-U is a medieval town in Rakhine State, It was formerly known as Myohaung. All foreign tourists understand Mrauk-U which means “North Far” and many have seen it as seemingly a sleepy village today, but not so long ago, it was the Capital of the Rakhine Empire where Portuguese, Dutch and French traders had been rubbing shoulders with the rogues of Bengal and Mogul princes on the run. Mrauk-U was declared the capital of the Arakanese Kingdom in 1431. At its peak, Mrauk-U had controlled half of Bangladesh and modern day Rakhine State, by boat the journey through the backwaters and then up the river is a wonderful trip to Mrauk-U.
—Ngapali, one of the sea beach of Myanmar, is less than one hour’s flight from Yangon on the western side of Rakhine State, it is deservedly famous for the freshness and quality of the sea food served by hotels and restaurants, which are fed by several large fishing communities along the coast. Ngapali’s charms are hard to ignore and provide the perfect place  for a couple to lay a solid foundation  for a life together. Better yet, you will want to come back every year to renew your vows.
—Among the many temples and pagodas, the Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the most famous pagodas in the world, and it is certainly the main attraction of Yangon. It sits atop Singuttara Hill and is 99 meters high, it can be seen from most places of Yangon day and night, as the golden roof illuminate the City. The Pagoda is 2600 years old, making Shwedagon the oldest pagoda in the world. The main golden dome is topped by a stupa containing over 7000 diamonds, rubies, topaz, sapphires and jades. As Myanmar’s most revered shrine, it has been customary for families, merchants and devotees of Buddha to make pilgrimage to Shwedagon Pagoda in much the same way that Muslims feel compelled to visit Kacba at Mecca at least once in their life time. However, the Shwedagon Pagoda remains unrivaled a shrine, a meeting place of Buddha’s devotees and a national religious identity.
—Kyaik Hti Yoe Pagoda is located in the small town called Kyaikto in the Mon State. The destination is 160 km away from Yangon. The Pagoda is 1100 km above sea level. It is an 11-kilometer uphill climb for the devotees from Kinpun base camp. There is also a steep winding road for the 4-wheeler cars from the base to the nearest point of the Pagoda. The Pagoda is also known as “The Golden Rock” in the Mon language, it means a Hermit has carried the Pagoda on his head. The Pagoda  was enshrined on a huge almost egg shaped rounded  granite boulder  perched on the very summit  of a projecting and shelving tabular rock which in itself is separated several feet from the  and when and on the further  side  that drops  perpendicularly into the deep valley below. It is a great wonder that for many earth-quakes took place in the vicinity in the past had not even shaken or let fall off the boulder rock down below.
As some research sources have estimated that Myanmar will be receiving about 10-million tourists in 2016, it should be a good incentive for all, however, let’s take an aggregate estimate of 5-million tourist arrivals in 2016. We shall have to take a double effort in order to prepare for the large influx of tourists and to make them as comfortable as they could for their stay in Myanmar and on their leaving of our country, they would have cheerfully stamped an impression deep in their hearts of the people with a thousand smiles from Myanmar.


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