Myanmar govt’s plan to promote local tourism clashes with COVID-19 preventative measures

The government has launched a plan to boost local tourism as international tourists remain locked out of the country due to commercial flight restrictions, this has clashed with its efforts to control COVID-19. On July 30, several famous pagodas in Bagan banned travelers from visiting 17 famous pagodas due to “health concerns.”This was despite local having already booked their transport and accommodation. Meanwhile, famous beaches in Ayeryawady like Ngwe Saung and Chaung Tha remained off-limits to visitors during that weekend, with travelers being advised that COVID-19 inspections were yet to be complete in the area.

The decision to reopen famous tourist destinations as part of the government’s tourism recovery plan will be made by the Central COVID-19 Committee. While precautions are necessary in managing the pandemic domestically, tourism businesses say they are unable to resume operations even though the government has pledged support for the sector. The majority of local agencies have suspended their operations while just a few are providing booking services for air ticket and hotel rooms. Many tour operators expect the Myanmar tourism industry to bounce back only next year.

The majority of locals are expected to travel mainly for religious reasons and during long weekends for relaxation purposes, local travel and tourism firms. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism will start conducting a survey on domestic travelers in an effort to support and improve the sector. The online survey includes 18 questionnaires related to the spending power, duration of travel and lodging preferences of local travelers.

Source: Myanmar Times

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