The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) held a videoconference on the recent changes to the tourism industry, including the effects of COVID-19, and the Myanmar Tourism Master Plan on 9 June.
Director-General U Maung Maung Kyaw of MoHT first thanked JICA for supporting the Bagan Tourism Development Pilot Model project for three years as it has helped Bagan enter the list of World Heritage Sites.
The UN World Tourism Organization estimates that international tourism will drop by 60 to 80 per cent in 2020 due to COVID-19 and Myanmar’s international tourist entry had dropped by 45 per cent between the months of January to April in 2020 compared to the same period in the previous year.
The Director-General requested continued cooperation with the ministry as technological or financial assistance would support the implementation of the COVID-19 Tourism Relief Plan. Next, the meeting discussed the arrangement for implementing the recovery plan for COVID-19 in addition to the Master Plan (2021-2030) with UNWTO and Luxdev as the Myanmar Tourism Master Plan (2013-2020) approaches its final phase.
They also discussed promoting Japanese tourism, each of the three phases of the COVID-19 Tourism Relief Plan, stimulus package preparations, aiming to increase tourism to Asian countries after COVID-19 as the main tourism market and increasing domestic tourism, establishing an E-commerce platform, and gathering assistance from affiliated development organizations for tourism businesses and SMEs.
JICA’s Senior Representative to Myanmar, Mr Matsuoka Hajime, then discussed possible assistance regarding the COVID-19 Tourism Relief Plan and Myanmar Tourism Master Plan.—MNA (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)