With the help of the Asian Development Bank and the Norwegian government, Myanmar is embarking on an ambitious 7-year tourism development to put in place a responsible tourism policy, build more hotel rooms and provide training for hospitality industry personnel.
The tourism development plan earmarks US$486.6 million in financial and technical assistance from 2013-2020 to make Myanmar “a better place to live in and a better place to visit”, said U Htay Aung, Minister of Hotels and Tourism at Myanmar Hospitality and Tourism Conference held this week in Rangoon.
“Myanmar [Burma] is speeding up its democratic and economic reforms, and the country has earned more and more international recognition and interest,” U Htay Aung said.
“As a consequence, we received 2.04 million arrivals in 2013, with a growth of over 90 percent as compared to the previous year. This is the highest record ever in Myanmar’s tourism industry.”
According to DVB, the ministry’s statistics should be taken with a grain of salt as “tourist” to the Burmese authorities can cover a multitude of foreign souls – Thai and Chinese truck drivers, gems dealers, border traders – anyone who touches Burmese soil without a professional visa. The news agency said the true number of touring holidaymakers in Burma is likely less than half of the official figure.
Read more: DVB