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Natural cave in Kayah State to be developed as tourist attraction

A natural cave, locally named as Mei Htauk Noon, in Nan Kit village of Pasawng Township, Kayah State, to be developed into an ecotourism site. The Directorate of Hotels and Tourism of the state is working together with the members of the local tourism development committee, the Destination Management Organization and local hotelier association for a tourist attraction in the post-COVID-19.

A local official of the department said that Mei Htauk Noon cave still has natural beauties such as stalactites and drop of water slowly trickles through cracks in the cave roof. It is still an unspoiled natural cave that can attract both local and foreign visitors. The cave is located within around 2 to 3-hour drive from Loikaw Township.

The road to this cave is being developed by the local people led by the senior monk of township Sangha committee. The development works also include the construction of road and electrification inside the cave with about 600-ft in length and 60-ft to 100-ft in width inside it. Other interesting places near the cave are a 100-year-old monastery with the displays of two huge ivories and ancient Buddha images, Woha waterfall and scenic views of Thanlwin River.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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SMEs to apply for tourism loans from MTB

Tourism-related small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can now apply for loans at Myanmar Tourism Bank (MTB) through the 11 associations under the Myanmar Tourism Federation (MTF) as collateral and insurance, according to the MTB Head Office. There are 11 associations in Myanmar tourism industry in the pandemic period. The Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) were signed between the team in each sector. The working processes are being taken step by step to provide the loans to SMEs under these associations.

The MTB Head Office has a loan department. SME businesses can directly contact the MTB’s loan department. Now, the department is also providing loans to the team’s small businesses. However, it is more convenient to reach MTB through the relevant associations. The department again postponed the interest payment period and deferred the repayment dates during the pandemic period. When the tourism businesses resume in the aftermath of COVID-19, the department will provide more loans to the SME businesses, said the MTB deputy managing director.

MTF has 11 associations related to the tourism sector, including souvenir sale shops, hotel associations, and restaurant shops. MTB is providing loans to SME businesses under these 11 associations starting from last year. MTB firstly offered K 20 million loans to SMEs without the collaterals. The loans will be provided depending upon the collateral application. Under the Central Bank of Myanmar, the interest claiming period will be postponed in the pandemic period. At present, the loan interest rate of MTB is 10 per cent. MTB Head Office was opened on Pyay Road, Kamayut Township, Yangon. According to MTB Head Office, the bank has already been opened up to six branches across the country.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Myeik Smart Island open for new CBT destination

THE Community Based Tourism (CBT) in Donenyaunghmai Village in Myeik Town and floating jetty in Smart Island in Myeik Archipelago has become the new tourism destination in Taninthayi Region. The CBT site created in Donenyaunghmai village is located at Done Island in Kyunsu Township, which is 48 nautical miles away from Myeik Town. The visitors often flock to the famous Smart Island near Donenyaunghmai Village. Additionally, a floating jetty was also arranged for the visitors on Smart Island, which has the natural pebble beach and sandy beach.

The visitors can study the culture, tradition, customs and living styles of Salon people and Kayin ethnic people in Donenyaunghmai village CBT site. Furthermore, they can ride a bicycle on the island, row the boats, study mangrove forest, go fishing and go on a study tour in fishing boats. Additionally, the visitors can go to Smart Island with speedboats.
The opening of the CBT site and floating jetty will attract more local travellers and tourists. It will also help create job opportunities for
residents. On 10 January, the opening of the floating jetty in Smart Islands was held near the jetty.

Moreover, the CBT site opening ceremony took place at Donenyaunghmai village on the same day. Taninthayi Region Chief Minister U Myint Maung and the regional ministers, officials concerned and residents marked the opening events. First, the regional Chief Minister and ministers formally inaugurated the floating jetty by cutting the ribbon and sprinkling scented water on the signboard. Afterwards, the regional Chief Minister Myeik Smart Island open for new CBT destination and party inspected the infrastructure in Smart Island and looked around the sandy beach and pebble beach. Then, they left for Donenyaunghmai village with speed boats from Smart Islands and formally opened the CBT site in the village.


The regional Chief Minister delivered the opening remark that the Taninthayi Region has rich natural resources to create tourism
destinations. The region is boasted with its realistic scenic view and aquatic
resources. The CBT site in Donenyaunghmai village is aimed at assisting in the government’s poverty alleviation project. I hope it will become the most successful CBT site in the region. The regional government is endeavouring to become a significant tourism spot like Yangon, Mandalay, Inle and Bagan.
Now, it has marked a milestone for the efforts. Regional Chief Minister handed over the honour certificates to the donors and chair of village CBT presented commemorative presents to regional Chief Minister and ministers at the event.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Visitors flock to Loimonemain Hill to enjoy cloud sea scenery

Many people have been visiting the magnificent cloud sea site in Mongpan Township, Langkho District, southern Shan State this cold winter. The site is located on Loimonemain Hill, at the right side of the Mongpan-Kengtung Road, northwest of Mongpan. It is located at an altitude of 2,222 feet. It is a mountain town with a cold climate. Rice paddy, garlic, pineapple and orange are the most widely grown crops in the area. At the entrance of Mongpan Town, there is a pagoda, which is a replica of the Shwedagon Pagoda.

Since many years ago, the magnificent cloud sea can be seen in winter at that place, but the cloud sea was not very popular because it is located in a mountainous area with difficult access. In early November 2020, many people started to become interested in the cloud sea in Mongpan. The residents in Mongpan said that when COVID-19 related restrictions are lifted, more and more visitors will visit Loimonemain Hill, on which the beautiful cloud sea scenery appears in winter.


To make the site become a landmark of the town; Buddhist monks, MPs, local officials, town elders, the residents and donors are making collective efforts. A Buddha image was built at the site. Towers were also built to help people enjoy the view of the cloud sea. Now, because of the attraction of the magnificent cloud sea, not only the residents but also visitors from far away are flocking to the Loimonemain Hill in the winter. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Second aviation facility for development of Chin State

NOW is time of beefing up development tasks in all parts of Myanmar including hilly areas and remote sites. Despite facing impacts of pandemic Covid-19 similar to other global countries, Myanmar is undertaking development tasks in line with the health guidelines as much as it can. Especially, infrastructures are being built in hilly areas which lagged development behind other regions and states. Currently, one more new
aviation infrastructure is under construction in Chin State with 75 per cent completion with the aim of ensuring smooth transportation and contributing much to tourism sector and other businesses in the state. Such kind of new aviation facility takes a position in Lailenpi Town of Matupi Township in Matupi District of Chin State. It will be a small airstrip only. Construction of the airstrip started in May 2019. Implementation of the airstrip project was approved by Union Government meeting 12/2017, according to Chin State government. Lailenpi airstrip is located at an altitude of 4,918 feet. The runway of the airstrip will be 2,500 feet long and 50 feet wide.

The airstrip will have facilitated with a 150 feet long and 200 feet wide apron for landing of the aircraft. It was learnt that construction of Lailenpi airstrip is being undertaken in southern Chin State with assistance of Mission Aviation Fellowship-MAF. Hence, it will be the first ever airstrip built in Myanmar with cent per cent monetary and technological assistance given by an international aviation organization. In fact, Chin State having plentiful of natural beauties is an origin of natural resources which can help develop the tourism industry with momentum. Smooth transport
is of great importance in creating chances for bringing about the improvement of customs and traditions of ethnic people and their daily lifestyle, and the creation of new destinations for tourists. As such, the government is rendering assistance for fulfilling needs of people as much as it can. Consequently, a new airstrip is scheduled to emerge in Chin State. In the future, Lailenpi airstrip will render more support to health care services to be given to local ethnic people residing in southern Chin State.

Thanks to the airstrip, local ethnic people will have to enjoy health care services and emergency transportation for rescue in natural disasters. In reviewing construction of the airports in Chin State, Lailenpi airstrip will
be the second facility of its kind. The first one was Surbung Airport built at 7,175 feet higher than the sea level, which is located 8.5 miles from Falam of Chin State as well as about 40 miles from Haka. Moreover, the airport takes a position, about 50 miles from Reed border trade camp at Myanmar-India border area. In addition, the airport was built on 6,000 feet high Surbung mountain near Lonpi Hill in Chin State, it is the highest airport in Myanmar. The runway of Surbung Airport can withstand 50,000 lbs of load. So, it can admit landing and takeoff of ATR-72 aircraft. The airport is facilitated with a 6,000 feet long and 100 feet wide runway. The lounge of the airport can give services to about 250 passengers. The first landing test of ATR-72 was conducted on the runway of Surbung Airport on the morning of 27 October 2019. The ground surveys and creation of designs for Surbung Airport, the first-ever airport of Chin State, were conducted in 2015-16 financial year. The airport was built depending on allotment of budgets in respective financial years.

Surbung Airport will be a focal point in Chin State to have direct aviation access for local people to Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw so as to contribute much to development of Chin State. So also, the stake driving ceremony to build the second one Lailenpi airstrip took place on 4 May 2020. The airstrip is purposed to admit landing and takeoff of aircraft which can carry 20 passengers each. Thanks to the new airstrip, local and foreign travellers will have convenience in their visits to Chin State. Enjoying fruitful results of aviation infrastructures such as airports in Chin State, travellers and businesspersons from Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay will have chance to make a day trip to Chin State in a short time. Moreover, local ethnic people will have better facilities of emergency health care services by transferring the patients to major cities such as Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay if necessary. The authorities decided to spend US$2 million on construction of Lailenpi airstrip in Matupi Township of southern Chin State. As the construction will complete soon, it will be the facility to help develop Chin State.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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The Myeik Archipelago has the potential to become Myanmar’s fifth regional tourist destination

The Myeik Archipelago is likely to be included as Myanmar’s fifth tourist destination, and efforts are being made to develop marine tourism, said an official from the Department of Hotels and Tourism. The Myeik Archipelago has beautiful islands; Underwater views; Rare coral reefs remain; Due to the unique lifestyle of the Salunga people, it has become a popular tourist destination. Due to these circumstances, the hotel and tourism industry in Tanintharyi Region needs to develop marine tourism. For the development of community-based tourism, the regional government; Tour operators’ associations; It is reported that they are working in collaboration with NGOs. CBT is being developed in conjunction with Marine Tourism. Because it is based on an island in the sea, it is called an island-based tourism business because it is based on an island village. In World Tourism, more than 60% go to Marine Tourism. They are stuck in Tanintharyi Region alone. 

There are a number of factors that need to be addressed in the success of marine tourism, as well as the development of villages on the islands related to marine tourism, and the key CBT needs to be in place. So if you look at the tourism industry in Tanintharyi Region, there are currently four tourist destinations in Myanmar. Yangon, Mandalay Bagan It is called Taunggyi. Tanintharyi region is the most promising tourist destination. Myeik Archipelago has also been announced to international travelers. It can be explained in detail about Myeik Archipelago tourism to any country. The beauty of the islands; The show focuses on underwater beauty. Corals, especially in our area, are becoming rare even in Southeast Asia. So it is needed to keep these things going. What needs to be done everywhere is to create tourism. As it is the only marine tourism destination in Myanmar, it has a lot of potential in the future. The Myeik Archipelago is one of the four developed tourism industries in Myanmar and may increase to five in the future.

 The first island-based tourism venture in Burma will open in January 2021 in Don Nyaung Hmaing village in the Myeik Archipelago, and locals say security and other needs remain. They are the local administration, but they do not have the authority to go beyond the framework. If the government can provide security for visitors, it is ready to support. Nyaung Hmaing Beach is accessible 24 hours a day. But as the number of passengers increased, so did the number of high-speed vehicles. At that time, the beach was not easily accessible. That is why they need a jetty. In Don Nyaung Hmaing village, some buildings for CBT have been built on an area of ​​about two acres and the village will be responsible for providing services. Once tourism starts here, security will be needed. A village jetty will be needed.

Moreover, if tourists come in, there will be job opportunities for the grassroots. They will arrange for you to go to the islands the visitors want to go by small boat. There are many villages on the island, so it is like cycling. If the visitors want to go to other places to study, they will arrange it. There is Salung culture and traditional dances. CBT (Community Based Tourism) was proposed to the Tanintharyi Region Government after 2017 to develop tourism in Tanintharyi Region. In January 2021, Myeik District, it would open in Done Nyaung Hmaing village and another in Kawthaung district. Three CBTs and one CBT can be implemented in Tanintharyi Region at present, as daytime CBT is being carried out in Tizi Village, Dawei District.

Source: Daily Eleven

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UMTA requests permit to keep running non-landing sightseeing flight tour

After the successful launch of non-landing sightseeing flight tour, the Union of Myanmar Travel Association (UMTA) has called for a permit to continue the flight tour, said U Naung Naung Han, chairman of UMTA. On 20 December, Myanmar National Airlines successfully operated non-landing sightseeing flight tour with Yangon-Kyaikhtiyo- Hpa-an-Yangon schedule by flying low with ATR-72. Passengers can enjoy the beautiful landscape and scenic view of Hpa-an in Kayin State and the famous pilgrim site, Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda in Mon State. After the successful pilot project, the UMTA asked to continue the tour plan. “We have sought a permit for that non-landing sightseeing tour.

The travellers are interested in taking sightseeing flights. They have registered their names, and they are ready to book the tour,” said U Naung Naung Han. The average capacity of the aircraft is 72 passengers in non-landing sightseeing flight tour. However, the maximum number of passengers on board is just over 50 per the Department of Civil Aviation regulations. A ticket costs K90,000 for a window seat and K60,000 for an aisle seat. Additionally, all the travellers must present COVID-19 test certificate with the negative result before boarding. The travellers do not need to be quarantined after the trip as they do not land anywhere except Yangon Airport. Myanmar’s tourism industry has been suspended for about nine months amid the COVID-19 crisis. Some tour agencies did not survive from the pandemic impacts.

Therefore, to revive the industry, we cannot expect tourists to focus on inbound tour with local travellers first, he highlighted. “The association is trying to seek a permit for this tour. Low flying has aviation rules for safety,” U Naung Naung Han said. The UMTA stated that they would schedule a new trip plan upon the positive review of this sightseeing flight tour. The UMTA has conducted cruise tour along Yangon River beyond the non-landing sightseeing flight tour. They will continue to create other road trip plans as well. Myanmar’s tourism industry has halted since the first coronavirus case in late March 2020.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Myanmar to resume domestic flights on December 16, int’l flights being discussed

Myanmar is preparing to allow both domestic and international commercial flights to resume operations in the months ahead. Currently, only relief flights are permitted. Domestic airlines in Myanmar will be permitted to resume operations on December 16, according to a statement by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, which is aligned with instructions from the National-Level Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of COVID-19.

There will be conditions to meet before passengers are allowed to board though. Only those who pass health screening will be able to take the flights. While an extract date has now been announced for the resumption of domestic flights, the official health guidelines and conditions for flying have yet to be released. That domestic commercial flights are expected to benefit those stranded in other states and regions and that it will take a while more before domestic tourism returns.

Meanwhile, arrangements for regular inbound and outbound international commercial flights are also underway, according to State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in her national address on December 11. Plans are being made to resume connectivity with both local and international flights. International commercial flights, which have been grounded since March 29, are currently suspended until the end of the year.

Source: Myanmar Times

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Foreign tourist shopping revenue in Myanmar was $ 197.331 million in 2019, down 81 percent from COVID-19 this year

Revenue from shopping for foreign tourists visiting Myanmar fell from US $ 197.331 million in 2019 (January to December) to US $ 38.021 million by 2020, or an estimated 81%. Other related revenue from foreign visitor spending was $ 281.875 million in 2019 (January-December), down from an estimated $ 54.315 million in 2020 (estimated from January to December). As a result, revenue from tourism and related industries for the year was US $ 2,818.753 million in 2019, down from US $ 543.154 million in 2020, down 81 percentage points from US $ 2,275.599 million.

The suspension of international passenger flights at Rangoon International Airport will reduce international airline revenue by 81% by 2020, according to the COVID-19 survey on the impact on Myanmar’s tourism industry. The Yangon International Airport (YACL) Company, which provides management services, said it was working to reduce rents and reduce staff salaries due to the closure of all shops at Terminal 1 in Yangon International Airport, according to YACL. The number of passengers at the Yangon International Airport has been declining since mid-February due to the suspension of international passenger flights until December 31. Due to the suspension of the tourism sector, the airlines inside the airport, Food industry; This has affected the regular operation of freight and retail outlets.

International flights have been suspended since March 30, and some domestic airlines have suspended flights, resulting in fewer passengers and airport arrivals. Shops and restaurants at Departure Terminal 1 were completely closed, severely affecting Yangon Airport and airports around the world. They are facing an unprecedented challenge for the airline industry. As the airport business resumes, operations will resume. Action plans will be implemented that meet the requirements of the public health plan and international standards. The transformation of the current YIA will be at least for a period of time as a new normal airline.

Source: Daily Eleven

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Five Shan towns to be promoted as tourism cities

Five towns in Shan State have been designed as tourism cities with the aim of improving Myanmar tourism in the post-COVID-19, said U Soe Nyunt Lwin, Shan State Planning and Finance minister. A tourism master plan has taken into account the “new normal” in Shan. Under the plan, the country will promote tourism under government-to-government agreement. The five tourism cities include Kalaw, Nyaung Shwe, Kyaing Tong, Lashio and Thibaw.

The plan will encourage local and foreign travelers to learn about ethnic people’s cultures through literature, music, the arts, food and handicrafts. A K100 million budget and five percent of the Inle Lake Fund will be used annually to promote Shan hotels and tourism. More money will have to be spent for tourism in the post-COVID-19 period for the sake of regional development. As part of the effort, they have asked the Ministry of Defense to allow foreign travelers to use the road that connects eastern and southern Shan. A package tour of Kalaw and Nyaung Shwe towns via Kyaing Tong is also planned.

Travelers from Thailand can visit Kalaw and Inle in eastern Shan. Kyaing Tong will be promoted for its scenic beauty and as a jumping-off point for eco-tours of the surrounding countryside. The China and Thailand markets will be targeted during the remainder of the government’s term after the elections. In Nawngcho township, the first glass bridge in Myanmar will be built soon. Kalaw and Taunggyi cities have received tourism awards, and Taunggyi, capital of Shan, was also recognized for having the highest oxygen concentration in ASEAN.

Source: Myanmar Times