Bagan cultural zone attracts over 100,000 tourists and homegrown visitors in H1

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The Bagan-NyaungU area was crowded with tourists and homegrown visitors in 2018.

More than 100,000 tourists and homegrown visitors flocked to the ancient Bagan Cultural Zone. A high number of pilgrims are expected to come during the holidays of the Thadingyut Festival, the locals said.
The visit frequency of homegrown visitors during the pandemic significantly dropped compared to the years 2019-2020, Ko Kyaw Htin, a lodge operator of NyaungU, told the Global New Light of Myanmar (GNLM).
The number of tourists to the Bagan zone increased in H1 of 2022 compared to the corresponding period in 2021. However, the visit frequency is still lower than those in the previous years prior to COVID-19.
According to the data provided by the Department of Archaeology and National Museum (Bagan branch), the number of pilgrims is estimated at 700-1,000 per day in September 2022. The zone attracted over 1,000 visitors during weekends.
“The government is implementing tourism development activities in each region and state. Bagan is a major tourism destination. The arrival of tourists declined at present so the sales of souvenirs dropped. Earlier, a group of tourists purchased the souvenirs worth US$1,000 when they went into a shop”, the GNLM quoted Ko Zaw Tun, a lacquerware maker, as saying.
“I am looking forward to the high number of pilgrims during the Thadingyut holidays. In the past two years, the number of pilgrims fell drastically, forcing the tour guide to pursue another career,” he added.
During the pandemic, the number of pilgrims to Bu Pagoda and Shwezigon Pagoda was estimated at over 50,000 per month.
“The motor boat businesses bustled with the passengers in October-December. Now, those boats are waiting for the guests at the riverbank,” said a motorboat operator.
A total of 106,844 tourists and homegrown visitors entered the Bagan Cultural Zone in the Jan-June period of 2022.
“In 2019, all the hotels and guesthouses were occupied. The number of visitors has decreased amid the COVID-19 impacts and security concerns on road transport triggered by the political changes. The hotel and motel businesses are offering a discount on social media to attract home-grown visitors. We have received room booking for the Thadingyut holidays,” an official of a hotel said in a phone interview with the GNLM.
A total of 684,892 visitors were recorded to visit the famous pagodas across the nation in the first half of 2022. – TWA/GNLM

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