Tourist rescue service launched in Yangon for safety, convenience

Coordination has been made among related departments and associations to provide rescue services for the safety of the tourists in Yangon Region, according to an official from the Myanmar Travel Association (MTA).
While the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism (MOHT) is making necessary arrangements to ensure safe destinations that can attract more tourists for the systematic development of the tourism sector, coordination has been made among related departments and associations to provide rescue services for the safety of tourists in Yangon Region and the ministry has also informed the contact persons and phone numbers for assistance.
“This is for the safety of travellers. If something happens, it includes the contacts list with phone numbers. It is an arrangement by the Tourism Services Committee. Most tour companies are based in Yangon Region, while most tourists come through Yangon Airport. So, the information is published for the security of arriving and departing guests,” an MTA official said.
Currently, tourists from Thailand, Russia and China are the top visitors to Myanmar.
Foreign tourist arrivals in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 (up to November) are 0.9 million, over 0.1 million, over 0.2 million and over one million respectively, according to the MOHT.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Surge in tourist numbers at Taungthaman Lake underscores emerging tourism trend

According to U Soe Win, secretary of the U Bein Bridge maintenance team, approximately 2,000 domestic and foreign travellers visit Taungthaman Lake and U Bein Bridge daily, with around 150 boats operating each day.

The report highlights Taungthaman as a popular destination for both domestic and foreign travellers, experiencing a surge in visitors starting from 1 February 2024.
“Since February began, we’ve seen a significant increase in visitors to Taungthaman Lake. In January, we had around 150 visitors per day, but this number has now risen to 2,000 daily. Many visitors come specifically to witness the sunset over Taungthaman Lake. Approximately 150 boats are available for visitors’ use to accommodate the growing numbers.

Domestic travellers from Mandalay, PyinOoLwin, Taunggyi, and Yangon, and international tourists from Thailand, Viet Nam, and South Korea are among the most frequent U Bein Bridge and Taungthaman Lake visitors. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Local and foreign tourist arrivals in Myanmar increase again in 2023, with further improvements expected

U Hla Myint, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, said that the number of local and foreign tourists had increased back in 2023 and was expected to rise further.

As of November 2023, there were 8.85 million local travellers and over one million foreign tourists.

“Foreign tourist arrivals in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 are 0.9 million, over 0.1 million, over 0.2 million and over 1 million respectively. Most tourists came from China and Thailand. Many Thais visited Myanmar for pilgrimage. We can say that the prospect looks better. The number of local travellers reached 8.85 million by November 2023. That number is larger now. We expect more to travel in 2024,” he said.

For tourism sector development, union-level responsible persons have visited the destination areas and met with operators and respective local governments to promote tourism while also communicating with private organizations to develop foreign tourism industry, said U Hla Myint.

“The ministry alone cannot do for tourism development. We need the cooperation from various departments. Myanmar Travel Association and Myanmar Hoteliers Association, including Myanmar Tourism Federation, also need to participate in the cooperation. Especially, the private sector needs to make more efforts. From the government side, we are doing coordination, relaxation and measures for easy visa. We need to continue our efforts to maintain the momentum,” he said.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Bagan welcomes 450,000+ domestic tourists

MORE than 450,000 visitors across Myanmar travelled the Bagan Ancient Cultural Zone last year, according to Assistant Director U Myo Min Aung of the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism (Bagan Branch).

The assistant director stated: “From 1 January to 25 December 2023, we received 457,956 domestic tourists. Lawkananda, Shwezigon and Ananda pagodas were among the most visited.”

He noted that even the Sinbyushin Temple, typically drawing limited interest from travellers, had experienced a surge in visitors.

“The temple could be called a Sangha University during the Bagan era, accommodating nearly 4,000 monks in its heyday. U Kyipwe Pond near Culamani Pagoda became popular among visitors, too,” he added.

Bagan is one of Myanmar’s major tourist destinations and remains bustling with visitors across the country year-round, especially during public holidays.

Renowned for its intact ancient religious buildings, Bagan continues to attract both domestic and international travellers. The Bagan Ancient Cultural Zone has 89 hotels, motels and guesthouses, and 24 municipal guesthouses.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Historic Konbaung era Kway Chaung fort needs base camp for visitors

A base camp at the historic Kway Chaung fort of the Konbaung era kings is necessary for tourist recreation and business opportunities, U Kyaw Myo Win, director at the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture (Bagan Division) suggested.

Kway Chaung fort was built in 1860. It took three years to build it and it was a historic site as the British naval vessels had to overcome it difficultly due to its strategic location.

Built a year earlier than near-by Minhla fort, Kway Chaung fort was systematically constructed with a specific location for fighting elephants.

“It is a big Konbaung era fort with a very good architect. It needs a base camp for visitors to rest at a distance from the fort without disturbing the view. From this camp, business opportunities for locals such as gift shops, cold drinks, a rest hall or toilets can be arranged. This will reduce the need for public to eat and relieve oneself inside the fort,” he said.

A fort like Kway Chaung, if it were in Europe, could seek world heritage status and there are many forts that have been designated as world heritage sites.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon-Pyay special trains to run in Thadingyut

The Myanma Railways (MR) said they will run Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon-Pyay special trains for the convenience of passengers starting on 27 October during the Thadingyut holidays.
The train services of Nay Pyi Taw-Yangon Down Express Train and Yangon-Pyay Up Express Train will operate on 27 October and the Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw Up Express Train and Pyay-Yangon Down Express Train will run on 30 October.
Moreover, plans are underway to prepare special trains for other routes if necessary. The passengers can make enquiries for train schedules and tickets at the respective railway stations, the MR said.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

MoHT releases popular destinations for local, and foreign travellers

A total of 14 destinations that domestic and foreign tourists should visit on a priority during the
upcoming open season were released on 21 September according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. The ministry has announced the priority travel areas that should be visited to enjoy the historical pagodas and stupas, ancient buildings and the natural beauty of the forest and water in Myanmar, which are famous for their ancient cultural heritage. Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Ngwesaung, Chaungtha, Ngapali, PyinOoLwin, Inlay, Kalaw-Taunggyi, Kawthoung, Kyaukphyu, Manaung and PutaO are included in the statement. The descriptions of the tourist attractions and travel options for each region of the above destinations can be found on the website of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism namely www. tourism.gov.mm and www.tourisminmyanmar. com.

In addition, there are 38 places to visit in Nay Pyi Taw and 10 EV taxis are running there, according to
the EV Net Taxi. Fares must be paid in kilometres according to the distance travelled. Currently, EVs are
starting to run the townships around Nay Pyi Taw.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Myanmar opens doors with visa-on-arrival for Chinese and Indian tourists

Myanmar will give Visa on Arrival (VOA) to Chinese and Indian travellers, according to the Ministry of Immigration and Population in Nay Pyi Taw.
Starting from the effective date, the ministry will carry out a one-year trial run of VOA service for Chinese and Indian tourists in line with the COVID-19 rules and regulations.
They can take out VOA applications at International Airports in Myanmar free of charge. They will be charged a visa-on-arrival fee and the application attached with two acceptable photos must be presented. Only a visa on arrival for tourist purposes is permitted so far.
Travellers need to hold a passport with at least six months of validity. They will get deported on the same flight if the passport’s validity is below six months.
They need to abide by the existing laws of Myanmar and they are allowed to visit all sites apart from restricted areas for security concerns.
They can depart through any international exit. The effective date of arrival visa for Chinese and Indian tourists will be announced soon.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

MoHT eyes Russian, Chinese, Indian tourists in peak season

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism expects international tourists from Russia, China and India in the
upcoming tourism peak season this year. The ministry is joining hands with private businesspersons to
effectuate the development in the tourism sector. The ministry expects arrivals of 150,000-200,000 Russian tourists this season. The ministry is exerting concerted efforts with the stakeholders in the industry to welcome Russian travellers to Myanmar under the “Welcome Russia Programme in Myanmar”.
“There is a promising prospect of tourism development at present. We must accelerate efforts in the
post-COVID-19 pandemic to attract Russians to eye Myanmar as a potential travel destination as Myanmar has strengthened ties with Russia. In addition to Russia, we offer a Visa on Arrival service for Chinese and Indian travellers. We expect an influx of tourist arrivals. We will endeavour to enhance tourism. We are primarily cooperating with the private sector. We are trying to support the stakeholders in the industry engaged in hotel, restaurant and tour agencies,” Union Minister Dr Thet Thet Khine of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism gave a remark at the launching ceremony of the Yangon-Mandalay-Novosibirsk maiden flight held on 5 September.
Myanmar-Russia direct aviation connectivity will surely promote tourism. It will also bring about
business opportunities for those engaged in the tourism sector as high tourism season is approaching, she added. Besides the current Yangon-Mandalay-Novosibirsk direct flight, Myanmar Airways International will expand its wings to St Petersburg, Moscow and other 11 cities in China including Beijing by long-haul flights using Airbus A330.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

MAI’s Myanmar-Russia direct flight lands back in Yangon successfully

The MAI launched the Yangon-Mandalay-Novosibirsk-Mandalay-Yangon flight on 5 September ensuring the essential connectivity between the Russian Federation and Myanmar, and the flight landed in Yangon successfully yesterday morning.
The MAI flight left for Russia at 2:05 pm on 5 September from Yangon International Airport and headed to Novosibirsk in Russia from Mandalay. Before the departure to Russia, the relevant officials of Mandalay Region cordially met flight passengers and had commemorative photos taken with them at Mandalay International Airport.
To strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries, the two governments, departmental officials, tourism industries and travel and tour companies should promote their tourism industries with their existing cultural heritage, picturesque scenes and beaches.
Moreover, the MAI launched the new flight not just for the profits but for aiming to facilitate the trade flows of the two countries, economy, hotels and tourism industries, health and other services for the people of the two countries.
The Myanmar-Russia direct flight will operate twice a week every Tuesday and Saturday. Myanmar travellers can visit the territory of the Russian Federation including its city Moscow from Novosibirsk with Russia’s S7 airlines. Similarly, Russian travellers can visit Myanmar and ASEAN countries where the MAI operates its flights.
Besides the current new flight, the MAI will fly to Moscow, and St Petersburg in Russia soon with flights like Airbus A330 and long-haul flights. Moreover, it also arranged to expand operations to 11 cities including Beijing in China.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar