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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Myanmar's tourist arrivals to reach 1 million by year-end

Myanmar's tourist arrivals to reach 1 million by year-end

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Foreign tourists seen visiting the old capital of Innwa during the second week of November
(Photo - Kyaw Zay Ya/EMG)

Foreign tourist arrivals to Myanmar could reach up to one million by end-2012, Hotels and Tourism Minister Htay Aung said.

"An average of 600,000 visitors will arrive in Myanmar by end of December while 400,000 visitors will enter the country from border gateways," said Htay Aung at a meeting with hoteliers from the Nay Pyi Taw hotel zone on November 23.

This shows a high probability for Myanmar to reach its goal of attracting one million visitors according to the minister's estimation.

The Yangon International Airport has been receiving an average of 2,300 visitors daily, he noted.

The airport is the main entry point for most foreign tourists visiting Myanmar; it received a daily average of only 2,000 visitors last month.

Myanmar's tourism industry is on the rise as a result of political reforms, especially after the by-elections in 2012. However, stakeholders from the industry have expressed concern over hotel room shortages and the need to improve transport facilities, service and other basic infrastructures.

Statistics show that 448 hotels and guesthouses have been providing 19,014 rooms in major tourist destinations including Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Taunggyi and Inle Lake up to October 2012.

Myanmar has been struggling to meet demand for more accommodation after tourist arrivals increased significantly this year.

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