The speech delivered by Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at the ceremony to mark World Tourism Day-2021

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Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing virtually addresses on the occasion of World Tourism Day-2021 on 27 September 2021.

First and foremost, I’d like to extend greetings to all the guests attending the ceremony to mark the World Tourism Day-2021 to enjoy the physical and mental wellbeing and all kinds of auspiciousness.
The ceremonies to mark the World Tourism Day are held in the member countries of the UN World Tourism Organization across the world on 27 September. It aims to enable the people to widely understand the economic benefit, creation of job opportunities for the local people, preservation of the natural resources and historical heritages, development of infrastructures, enhancement of amicability among the people and building of mutual understanding which are crucial in the tourism industry.
It is noticeable that the tourism sector directly benefits the other services such as construction, engineering, manufacturing, agricultural and food and fruit cultivation work in addition to hotels, tour agencies, tourism companies, airlines and transport services. It can be said that the tourism industry is of great importance in undertaking the multiple developments of a country, and the creation of job opportunities may mitigate the economic inequality. This year’s ceremony to mark World Tourism Day will be held in line with the theme: Tourism for Inclusive Growth, aimed at enabling the global countries to understand the development of the tourism sector which would improve all related sectors across the world.
Everybody knows that the tourism sector gaining momentum in recent years faced total suspension of the arrivals of international tourists to Myanmar as the suspension on issuance of entry visa, running of international flights and control of travels were triggered by controlling the infection of COVID-19 which started in December 2019. It shows that all need to strive for their full recovery in the crisis of the tourism industry in the international community including Myanmar.
According to the data issued by the UN World Tourism Organization, it can be seen that the arrivals of international tourists across the world declined by 85 per cent from January to May 2021 in comparison with the corresponding period of 2019. It declined to 460 million international tourists. It is the worst in the history of the world tourism industry.
With regard to the Asia-Pacific region, the arrivals of international tourists dropped 95 per cent in the first five-month period in 2021 compared to the corresponding period of 2019, 85 per cent in Europe, 83 per cent in the Middle East, 81 per cent in Africa and 72 in America respectively.
The tourism industry which is one of the main pillars to meet the aims of poverty alleviation, gender discrimination, good jobs and economic development involved in the sustainable development goals is facing unsuccessfulness and loss. Hence, international organizations, local organizations and global countries including the UN World Tourism Organization are carefully striving for the resumption of the tourism industry. In Myanmar, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism cooperates with relevant ministries and private organizations in the earliest resumption of tourism services.
As construction of the trust among the local and international travellers is important for the resumption of the tourism industry, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism conducts training courses on the prevention of COVID-19 to service providers in the tourism sector while implementing the work process to inspect hotels, lodges, restaurants, tourism companies, tour guides, souvenir shops and transport services whether they meet the standards for the prevention of COVID-19 and directives and identify them at local, national and international levels with the issuance of the certificate of Health and Safety Protocol.
COVID-19 pandemic has changed the options of tourists who wish to choose better specific and healthy destinations. They are more interested in the less populous areas for free visits such as Nature-Based Tourism, Ecotourism, Agri-tourism, Marine Tourism and Rural Tourism instead of populous urban areas.
Myanmar is inhabited by 135 ethnic nationals. Each ethnic national possesses very interesting diverse items such as culture and customs, faiths, traditional festivals and domestic products as well as foods. A special emphasis should be placed on the implementation of community-based tourism in line with the health guidelines to expose the traditional culture of ethnics, reducing the poverty of rural people and conserving the natural environment.
Myanmar is very beautiful in its geographical conditions. On one hand, the natural beauties of Myanmar are very attractive to travellers. Myanmar possesses the snow-capped mountain ranges in the northern part and beauties of sea beaches and archipelagos in the southernmost point.
Islands with beautiful beaches, underwater natural resources and beauties in Myeik Archipelagos in the southern part of Myanmar, beaches in Taninthayi Region, Mon State, Ayeyawady Region and Rakhine State give the best options of travels to the local and foreign tourists. In addition to these natural travelling sites, it is necessary to create new destinations and travel forms such as cruise rail service, cruise vessel service, jungle trekking and mountain climbing for local and foreign travellers.
Efforts are being made for the resumption of the tourism industry. On the other hand, it is important that people from all arenas should have proportional benefits from the tourism industry.
The tourism industry can create job opportunities for labourers with different skills and experiences with more social consolidation.
It is necessary to notice the spreading of COVID-19 in the development of Myanmar’s tourism industry. The decline of the infection rate of COVID-19 is the most important for a resurgence of the local and international tourism sector. Individual cooperation with conscience and supervision and assistance of all responsible organizations can contribute to the rapid development of the tourism sector. I’d like to urge all to emphasize the tourism industry which is an all-inclusive and beneficial service. I’d like to urge relevant ministries, region and state governments, tourism associations and businesspersons to emphasize that not only departments concerned but also private entrepreneurs need to harmoniously implement the work process of the tourism industry in line with the guidelines on prevention and containment of COVID-19. The tourism industry benefits all participants from many sectors. The tourism industry is important in the prioritized sectors of the State as it contributes to the State economy as well as preserves friendly relations among the global countries and cultural and natural heritage.
In conclusion, I’d like to urge all to strive for the development of the tourism industry and improvement of the opportunities obtained from the tourism sector and other social-economic sectors by sharing the proportional development with the local people in conformity with this year’s theme of the World Tourism Day “Tourism for Inclusive Growth”.

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