Number of tourist arrivals at Inle Phaungdaw Oo pagoda festival decreases significantly

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The Buddhas from the pagoda taken on a procession over Inle Lake to Nyaungshwe Township during Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival.  photo: Thwe Thwe Tun

The number of tourists visiting to Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda Festival has decreased significantly when compared to the same period of last year, according to a report in the Myawady Daily yesterday.
The Phaungdaw Oo pagoda festival is held annually in September for a total of 18 days. It is one of the most famous pagoda festivals in Myanmar. Both locals and tourists come to visit this traditional festival in Inle Lake, Shan State. The date of the festival is fixed according to the Lunar Calendar of Myanmar.
“This year only three or four tourists have contacted our company to visit the festival. The arrival list may be at least 50 per cent less than the last year”, said U Zaw Htay Aung, the chairman of Myanmar Tourism Association (Taunggyi Zone).
Usually, the number of tourists increases in October. But this year, the open season starts with poor results. The decrease in the number of tourists causes financial problems for the local tour companies and the tourist guides, too.
During the festival, which is usually held from 21 September to 8 October, some hotels in Inle and Nyaungshwe have offered discount rates between 10 per cent and 15 per cent.
Hotels in Nyaungshwe are offering discount rates during the festival depending on the room types. For example, the normal rate of Ks38,000 per night is reduced to Ks 30,000 per night.

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