VISITORS to Kyaikhtiyo, the legendary pagoda on the golden rock, are likely to reach about 3 million next year, according to the Myanmar Hoteliers Association.
This year, about 2.7 million travellers from Myanmar and abroad visited the Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda in Kyaikhto Township, Mon State.
The Union government prohibited the development of new hotels near the pagoda even though there are insufficient tourist accommodations, a hotel service business operator said.
Currently, there are a total of about 320 rooms near the pagoda in the Mountain Top Hotel, Yoe Yoe Lay Hotel and Kyaikto Hotel.
Tour companies have cancelled tour plans because of accommodation problems during the high season. Between 100 and 300 Thai nationals visit the pagoda daily.
The Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda, a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site and popular tourist attraction in Mon State, is about 160km from Yangon. It is situated on a rocky mountain over 3,600 ft above sea level.
Tourism in Myanmar is growing rapidly. International tourist arrivals increase significantly every year. The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism predicts that tourist arrivals in the country are likely to reach around 7.5 million by 2020, with plans to spend about US$500 million on tourism development from now until 2020.