Strong, coordinated support for tourism sector needed for recovery

To put our country’s COVID-hit tourism industry on the road to recovery, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has taken further steps by planning to draw region-wise master plans for tourism with physical distancing and health guidelines.
The authorities formulated the Myanmar Tourism Strategic Recovery Roadmap (2021-2025) to revitalize our tourism industry which has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The recovery road map envisaged that our tourism industry will return to normal by 2023-2024. The quick recovery depends on tackling the COVID-19 crisis. In particular, an effective vaccine is expected to be a significant boon for tourism, which has been badly affected by border closures, travel restrictions, and social distancing measures related to Covid-19.
While the country waits for a reliable vaccine, the stakeholders of the tourism industry and authorities in regions and states are to draft the Regional Tourism Master Plan (RTMP) in line with the Tourism Strategic Recovery Roadmap (2021-2025) to encourage the return of visitors once lockdown measures are eased.
The region-wise master plans must ensure safe, responsible behaviour and discovering new natural destinations is a shared responsibility between visitors, residents, business owners, employees and local governments.
This is especially important in areas with high visitation, where the economic livelihoods of residents and businesses depend heavily on tourism.
The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated our tourism industry, shuttered restaurants and hotels, and sent hundreds of thousands of hospitality-sector employees to the unemployment line. Now, strong and coordinated action is needed to save millions of livelihoods.
With the resurgence of the coronavirus infection, the second wave has been a cudgel to the back of the knees of the people relying on the hotel and tourism sector for their livelihoods.
Now, no local visitors to travel destinations, restaurants, hotels and guests houses has become a second blow to the hospitality-sector which was hard hit by the global pandemic since its outbreak.
To contain the coronavirus infection in our country, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism adopted the Myanmar Tourism Rescue Plan with three stages: Survival, Reopening and Re-launching.
Under the plan, taxes are relaxed, license fees are reduced, rental fees are postponed and loans are provided for hotels and tourism businesses.
The recovery must involve transforming the sector, re-inventing tourism destinations and businesses, re-building the tourism ecosystem, and innovating and investing in sustainable tourism.

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