Domestic travel to beach towns, hilly regions and the Bagan ancient cultural zone is normal in the rainy season, according to travel agencies.
The number of local travellers to these regions has been increasing since October 2022 and Ayeyawady Region, Rakhine and Mon states hosted the highest number of visitors in April 2023, according to Myanmar Hoteliers Association.
Moreover, the outbound visits of Myanmar people became the highest after April 2022, especially the visits to Thailand and Singapore were higher than the previous years as well as to Bodh Gaya in Nepal and India also higher than in 2018 and 2019.
Oversea visits of Myanmar citizens
The Myanmar people visited neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Nepal and India in 2022, according to Myanmar Tourism Federation.
“Starting April 2022, the number of overseas visits of Myanmar citizens increased. The visit to Bodh Gaya in Nepal and India in addition to Thailand and Singapore was high. At that time, it was the year of tourism in Dubai of UAE and the number of visitors was also high. According to the data, about 500,000 people make overseas trips from April 2022 to April 2023,” said U Soe Aung from the Myanmar Tourism Federation (Yangon Region).
Similarly, the overseas visits of Myanmar citizens were high during one year. The people go abroad temporarily for the purpose of medical treatment and education. Other people mainly go to Thailand, Singapore and India for medical treatment and further education.
Additionally, inbound travels are also on the rise and the people visited hilly regions in early 2023.
Changes in film city
The filmmaking rate in PyinOoLwin of Mandalay Region which was known as Myanmar’s film city previously becomes fallen recently and movie production is mainly made in Taunggyi, Kalaw and Pindaya of Southern Shan State. Therefore, the tourist arrivals to these hilly regions are higher than in previous years.
“PyinOoLwin is described as a film city in the past. Most of the films are made there. Later, almost all the movie drama and series are made in Taunggyi, Kalaw and Pindaya. So, the visits of the artistes and their fans become higher. In the past, the movie-making procedures were suspended in the rainy season but now, the people do not stop and are making the whole year round. So, the arrivals of travellers to these places are on the rise,” said U Sai Khun Naung, a member of the Myanmar Hoteliers Association (Shan State).
Beach towns that host travellers all year round
The beach towns are one of the famous destinations for the local travellers and the arrivals to Ngwesaung and Chaungtha beaches in Ayeyawady Region and Ngapali beach in Rakhine State were normal starting early 2022.
“Since 2022, the beach areas have been crowded with people. The bookings were full at the beach hotels during the new year period, especially in the international new year month of January and Myanmar new year month of April. It is also full during the long public holidays. The strange thing about this year is that there are travellers during the rainy season. Normally, there are no visitors to the beaches in monsoon. There are travellers to Gawringyi island in Ayeyawady Region even in the rainy season,” said U Aung Moe Kyaw, a member of the Myanmar Hoteliers Association (Ayeyawady Region).
Currently, the number of visitors to beach towns of Rakhine State declines but the arrivals to Ngwesaung and Chaungtha beaches in Ayeyawady Region are normal. There are over 11,000 travellers to these beaches on weekdays and over 2,000 on weekends per day.
Bagan ancient cultural zone, the main destination of domestic visitors
Domestic travellers mainly visit the Bagan ancient cultural zone in NyaungU Township of Mandalay Region. The place is crowded with visitors until the rainy season in 2022.
“The traveller arrivals to Bagan have not declined since early 2022. So, it eases our hardships of the COVID-19 outbreak to a certain extent. We also offer the same services to the local travellers as we do to the tourists at local service rate and so the number of travellers does not fall,” said U Zaw Weik, a hotelier from Hotel Zone (Bagan).
There are about 3,000 visitors to Bagan daily in the rainy season. The visitors also visit the vicinity areas of Bagan like Mount Popa.
Between January and June 2023, the Sagaing destination, Mingun, Mandalay and heritage sites of Bagan ancient cultural zone in Mandalay Region, sites in Yangon, beach towns of Ayeyawady Region and Rakhine State, Pindaya, Aungban, Kalaw and Taunggyi of Shan State hosted more than 500,000 domestic travellers and about 30,000 tourists.