Myanmar observes the UN’s World Tourism Day

Vice President U Nyan Tun gives an address during a ceremony to mark World Tourism Day in Nay Pyi Taw on Wednesday.
Vice President U Nyan Tun gives an address during a ceremony to mark World Tourism Day in Nay Pyi Taw on Wednesday.

Myanmar observed World Tourism Day 2015 on Tuesday,     with a message read out by a United Nations Development Programme official from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
In a speech to mark the occasion in Nay Pyi Taw, Vice President U Nyan Tun called for Myanmar to develop policies that will help protect cultural heritage sites from the adverse effects of natural disasters.
U Nyan Tun cited the three Pyu cities of Hanlin, Beikthano (Vishnu) and Srikhetra, all of which have been included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
This year’s theme was ‘One Billion Tourists, One Billion Opportunities’, which the vice president said represents the opportunity for Myanmar to “make best use of billions of opportunities to alleviate the potential impact natural disasters might have on the tourism industry.”
U Nyan Tun said that the country’s recent unprecedented floods affected nearly two million people, wreaking havoc on livelihoods and the economy.
The government has initiated long-term plans for recovery measures in which tourism plays a critical role, the vice president added. He said he hoped that Myanmar’s tourism industry will prioritise practices that do not cause harm to the natural environment.
The country laid out a policy for responsible tourism in 2013, which places emphasis on the active participation of civil society in ensuring a sustainable development through tourism.
The country saw an inflow of over one million tourists in 2012, a figure that doubled in 2013 and is expected to reach 4.5 million this year.
U Nyan Tun pointed out the need to create fresh opportunities to make the country one of the world’s top tourist destinations.
Myanmar won the Best in Travel- AEC Country award for 2014 by the Lonely Planet Traveller magazine.
Union ministers U Nyan Tun Aung, U Aye Myint Kyu, U Win Tun and U Htay Aung presented prizes to the winners of excellence in tourism awards, including Chatrium and Kempinski hotels, Exo-Travel Myanmar and Myanmar Voyage International Tourism.

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