Tour operators for Chinese visitors discuss better services in post-COVID-19

Union Minister U Ohn Maung holds a video conference with Chinese tour operators for future plan for tourism business. Photo: MNA
Union Minister U Ohn Maung holds a video conference with Chinese tour operators for future plan for tourism business. Photo: MNA

Union Minister for Hotels and Tourism U Ohn Maung held a video conference with Chinese tour operators based in Yangon Region and Mandalay Region from his office in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
The meeting was also attended by Deputy Minister U Tin Latt, Director-General U Maung Maung Kyaw of the Directorate of Hotels & Tourism, the chairman of Myanmar Tourism Entrepreneurs Association, the chairman of Myanmar-China Tourism Promotion Committee, and the entrepreneurs providing travel services to Chinese tourists in Yangon and Mandalay.
The meeting focused on preparing the Myanmar travel industry for the period after the COVID-19 pandemic and to discuss the implementation of the State Counsellor’s guideline for ‘quality rather than quantity’.
The Union Minister said travel to Myanmar significantly increased when the restrictions for Visa on Arrival were lifted on 1 October 2018 with the number of visitors between the later part of 2018 to 2019 reaching 749,719.
The Union Minister said there was an insufficient number of Chinese-speaking tour guides which resulted in a majority of Chinese tourists who only spoke their native tongue failing to properly understand the Do’s and Don’ts when visiting Myanmar.
He said this resulted in local residents of tourism destinations to misunderstand the behaviours of Chinese tourists and have spread through social media. He also highlighted the incident on 5 February where two Chinese tourists were penalized under The Protection and Preservation of Ancient Monuments Law.
The Union Minister said Visa on Arrival, e-Visa and leisure visas have all been suspended due to the spread of COVID-19 and there has been no Chinese tourists entering the nation as a result but will resume once travel channels reopen when the virus is contained.
The Union Minister said they will learn from the difficulties faced in the past to provide better services when travel resumes in Myanmar. He said F.I.T. will not be prioritized in quality control but rather package tours will have to operate on a prepaid system, cover health insurance and be provided with a tour guide that is fluent in Chinese.
The Union Minister said tour operators need to provide quality services and guarantees for paid services. He said they must prepare to provide quality services that will benefit domestic businesses instead of the previous tour services that had been dubbed ‘zero budgets’. He said the ministry will provide the necessary technical support.
The meeting then commenced with attendees discussing ways to boost the travel industry when tourism resumes after COVID-19 and the Union Minister provided suggestions, advice and guidance where necessary.—MNA
(Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)

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