Myanmar close to hitting expected 3 million visitors mark

 A stupa built on a stone in Myanmar offers breathtaking beautiful scenery to globetrotters seeking ecotourism thrills.—Photo: Ye Myint
A stupa built on a stone in Myanmar offers breathtaking beautiful scenery to globetrotters seeking ecotourism thrills.—Photo: Ye Myint

Yangon, 4 Dec—Given tourist arrivals of 2.7 million to Myanmar up to November, Myanmar’s tourism boom is on track to meet its expected three million visitors this year according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.
With strong demand to visit Myanmar by travelers willing to explore destinations offering a genuine meaning of ecotourism and opportunities for recreation in locations of great scenic beauty and high cultural heritage year after year, 2.7 million globetrotters visited Myanmar up to last month, said Deputy Minister for Hotels and Toursim Dr Tin Shwe at the closing of a tour guide training course in Kayin State.
He expressed his belief Myanmar is sure to see three million arrivals by tourists as expected by the end of this year.
With a 43 percent rise on 1,121,795 who entered the country during the first seven months in 2013, Myanmar received 1,604,746 in the same period this year. The number of visitors arriving by air jumped 25 percent in 2013 and visitors arriving in Yangon by water rose 612 percent, from 1,552 in the first seven months of 2013 to 11,053 in the same period this year.
According to the ministry, Myanmar welcomed 2.04 million visitors in 2013, a record number for the Southeast Asian nation where the tourism industry is growing at an impressive pace. Ministry figures show that as of October 31 Myanmar had 1,076 licensed hotels, motels and guest houses with 42,037 rooms while 279 hotels in Yangon have 12,794 rooms. Among them, 26 hotels are in operation with foreign investment while five are operating through a joint-venture business.
According to the country’s Tourism Master Plan, Myanmar expects to welcome more hordes of travelers from around the world. The Asian Development Bank forecasts arrivals of three million visitors by 2015 and 7.5 million by 2020.
Recently, global travel search engine Skyscanner said Myanmar will be the hottest travel destination next year.
The country is to host the ASEAN Tourism Forum-2015 from 22 to 29 January next year, aiming to help ensure the country’s tourism industry growth and delivering broad and equitable social, economic and environmental benefits to its people. GNLM

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