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September 17, 2019

Inle Lake draws steady stream of tourists

Visitors feed seagull as they take a boat trip in Inle Lake. Photo: Thant Zin Win
Visitors feed seagull as they take a boat trip in Inle Lake. Photo: Thant Zin Win

SINCE it was designated as Myanmar’s first biosphere reserve and as a natural world heritage site in 2013, Inle Lake has drawn more attention from international tourists, seeing increasing tourist arrivals year after year.
Official statistics showed that Inle Lake, during the period from April to December in the previous two years, welcomed 79,678 visitors in 2014 and 141,789 in 2015.
There are 78 hotels and motels in and around Inle Lake, creating job opportunities for local people, said U Sai Win of the Inle Speaks Community Skills Development Centre.
A total of 300 local guides have been trained, he added.
With an increase in the number of visitors, there has been an increase in the use of motorised boats, which can reduce oxygen levels in the lake, creating an environmental concern that birds and fish living in the lake are likely to move to other places, said U Sein Tun, an official from the Inle Lake Wildlife Sanctuary Department.
Partnership for Change, a Norway-based organisation, is devising a way to reduce noise produced by the motorised boats by 50 per cent.
In accordance with the country’s Tourism Master Plan, which encourages sustainability in the tourism sector, human resources development and environmental conservation, efforts are being made to improve ecotourism around Inle Lake.

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