August 19, 2016

Tourists show increasing interest in observing cultural heritage in remote areas

Antiquated sculptures are seen inside Shit-thoung Pagoda in Mrauk U. Photo: Htay Aung
Antiquated sculptures are seen inside Shit-thoung Pagoda in Mrauk U. Photo: Htay Aung

Min Thit

MRAUKU of Rakhine State, the ice-capped mountains in northernmost Myanmar and islands in southern part of the country are becoming major tourist attractions according to the tourist guides.
Among those areas, Mrauk U is attracting international visitors as it offers evidence of ancient Myanmar culture associated with early Buddhism but receives  few  visitors compared to Bagan because of poor transportation.
It requires fundamental infrastructure for the provision of better transportation services in order to attract more visitors, tour guide U Zaw Min Oo said.
Tourist arrivals to the country reached 4.2 millions between January and November last year, with the ministry estimating that the number will rise up to 5 millions by the end of March this year.
Deputy Culture Minister Daw Sanda Khin said that people’s participation in conserving the country’s cultural heritage and natural environment is crucial for sustainable tourism development.
The Ministry has reportedly increased their efforts to preserve the country’s traditional sites and culture by conducting tourism management programs as the industry is reliant on natural heritage.
Laws protecting and preserving cultural heritage were enacted in 1998 and again in 2011.
With the aim of preventing environmental pollution the establishment of hotels, restaurants and industry sites is prohibited in the area of the three Pyu ancient cities which were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014.


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