Community-based tourism in Bagan to attract more visitors in 2024

The Directorate of Hotels and Tourism has estimated that there will be more tourists in 2024 than in 2023, due to the attraction of community-based tourism businesses that are compatible with the Bagan Ancient Cultural Zone, where a wide range of Myanmar’s ancient cultural heritage is located, according to U Myo Min Aung, the assistant director of the Bagan branch of the department.
A total of 55,846 tourists visited the Bagan Ancient Cultural Zone in April, including 993 foreign tourists and 54,853 local tourists. In the same month, a total of 352,712 domestic tourists visited the Shwezigon Pagoda, with 198,900 visiting the Buu Pagoda, 39,483 visiting Lawkananda Pagoda, and 32,031 foreign and local tourists visiting Mount Popa. In 2022, 1.08 million foreign tourists visited the Shwezigon Pagoda, a popular destination in Bagan, and this number increased to 2.47 million in 2023. The Bagan Ancient Cultural Zone remains one of the regions with the highest number of tourists in Myanmar, with the most frequent visitors reported to be from Thailand, China, Russia, and the United States this year.
The Assistant Director disclosed, “The Directorate of Hotels and Tourism has also developed more attractive destinations for foreign tourists in Bagan. The Kyaukmyathmaw Pagoda and Rocky Lake around Bagan are frequently visited by tourists. Zee Pho Hla Village, which has paintings from more than 900 years ago, and the Setsetyo Village in NyaungU Township, which preserves Myanmar traditional hairstyles called Yaungpaysu for boys and Sanyitwine for girls (top-knot with a circular fringe), as well as the village of Thepyintaw, which is prepared for community-based tourism, attract both domestic and international visitors. Foreign tourists particularly enjoy the village because they can view the sunset from the Shwenattaung Pagoda. They are also interested in the 200-year-old ancient Yokesone Monastery and the various antiques found there.
“At the same time, you can learn about the toddy palm tree climbing occupation and the lifestyle of the villagers. Since it is a community-based tourism village, it is one of the most visited places not only by foreign tourists but also by domestic visitors. It was hotter this summer, but tourism operations didn’t stop. If it hadn’t been so hot, more visitors would have come here. The Bagan Ancient Cultural Zone, where Myanmar’s cultural heritage is gathered, is a region that our country can be proud of. The ancient pagodas, a group of palm trees, and an ancient lake are a heritage that suits the Bagan region. Foreign tourists, in particular, will appreciate it more. Therefore, it is estimated that more tourists will visit Bagan’s ancient cultural area this year than last year.”
The Bagan Ancient Cultural Zone received the highest number of visitors in April during the Thingyan festival period. The area saw more tourists in early 2024 than in the same period in 2023. During the heat of May, about 700 to 800 travellers visited the area daily, and about 1,000 travellers visited during office holidays. More visitors are expected in the rainy season and the following period.
The inbound tourism services, which generate significant income for the country without smoke, is attracting foreign revenue through the development of many destinations and attractions. With its natural scenery, natural lakes, and ancient cultural heritage areas, community-based tourism will thrive in Bagan. Tourism operators predict that 2024 will bring more tourists to Myanmar than 2023, thanks to the country’s hospitable traditions and warm-hearted people. — Nyein Thu (MNA)/ TH

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