• Art 1a
  • Art 1
  • Burmatapestry Large

Travel and Tourism

Trailer for a 52 minute documentary film produced by François Le Pivain

DPA International - 23 February 2016

Visitors will no longer be allowed to climb the ancient temples of Bagan in an effort to preserve the monuments from the thousands of tourists who scale them to see the site's distinctive skyline every year, the government said Tuesday.

[Latest: Myanmar backpedals on total ban - AFP]

Bagan's temples, many of them more than a thousand years old, are one of the most important collections of Buddhist architecture in the world, and a major tourist attraction in the developing country. But experts have criticized the site's management for allowing almost unfettered tourist access, and the UN's cultural body has declined its application for World Heritage Site status largely because of several cosmetic restorations.

The Ministry of Culture's announcement came after a Chinese medical company held a corporate event on top of a pagoda. A video of the event was posted on social media on February 16. The ban on climbing temples and pagodas will take effect from March 1, state-run media said, citing the ministry.

Stephen Scourfield: West Australian Travel - 14 December 2015

The re-emergence of Myanmar and commensurate growth of tourism have seen Hilton, Accor, Best Western, Kempinski, Dusit and Royal Park recently opening hotels. Plans for a 375-room Sheraton Yangon Hotel have been announced. There are now more than 45,000 rooms in more than 1100 hotels nationally.

Investment has been coming steadily into the country. China has been a big investor and it is Mandalay resident Ben Htike'''' who points out to me that the map of Myanmar “looks like a lady standing on one foot with one arm reaching out east”. But there has been an upswelling of opposition to Chinese influence in Myanmar. From the joint-venture Letpadaung copper mine in the north-west to the Myitsone dam project, which has been suspended after strong opposition.

Mizzima - 1 December 2014

Myanmar has seen a five-fold increase in tourism income over the last decade with the sector pulling in US$905 million in 2014, according to a report on the progress in the Myanmar hotels and tourism sector released on November 30.

The country brought in US$171 million in 2004 in comparison with US$905 million in 2014.


The upswing began in 2011 under the new government of President U Thein Sein as the country opened up when the number of visitors began to increase substantially and the tourism sector brought in US$300 million for the year.Back in 2004, the country hosted 500,000 foreign visitors. The arrivals figure for 2014 may reach 3 million by the end of the year, with around 2.4 million clocked from January to October so far.

At the same time, the number of new hotels and guesthouses is on the increase. Back in 2004, Myanmar had 787 hotels with 28,000 rooms. By 2014, the number of hotels stands at 1,076 with 42,000 rooms.

Myanmar’s tourism strategy envisages 5 million arrivals in 2015.

Ten of the most beautiful places to visit in Myanmar
Global Grasshopper - 14 July 2014


Travel: Retracing George Orwell's steps
New York Times blog  - 15 November 2013
In Myanmar, a long-isolated nation now opening up to the world after decades of military rule, one still finds romantic echoes of the former British colony that inspired the young author to pen his first novel, ‘Burmese Days.’ 

Lawrence Osborne visits the cities of Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay to look for what’s left of the landscape and British architecture that inspired the young Orwell to pen his novels. 

Myanmar: Opening to Tourism, Investment - and Reform?
National Geographic Daily News - 17 August 2013
Picture it: pagodas, palaces, parks - a paradise for photographers. Keep clicking. Through your lens you see the "new" and "mysterious," the "mystical" and "magical" Myanmar, also known as Burma. There is so much for tourists to see: Buddhist temples, royal gardens, tranquil rivers, and paddies. (See related photo gallery: "Land of Shadows.")

But wait, wasn't this Myanmar once a xenophobic, tightly controlled, reclusive, repressive country? How can the same place that limited visas and travel for decades now be attracting planeloads of tourists - and branding itself for its "hospitality" and welcoming atmosphere?

Yes, the same country that until 2010 kept its leading dissident, Aung San Suu Kyi, under house arrest, markets itself today as the "Golden Land" of mystical charms and exotic attractions. Sounds almost schizophrenic. But Myanmar may be the best example of a once-closed land that has now discovered the upsides (and possible downsides) of openness, public diplomacy, and tourism.

Myanmar unveils US$0.5 billion tourism plan
Asian Development Bank - 5 June 2013
The Government of Myanmar, alongside the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Norway, today unveiled a Tourism Master Plan which outlines 38 development projects valued at nearly a half billion dollars that will help increase Myanmar’s tourism competitiveness, protect environmentally important areas, and safeguard ethnic communities.

“This master plan outlines a path to welcoming more visitors to Myanmar without threatening our unique cultural heritage or endangering pristine environments,” said U Htay Aung, Myanmar’s Minister for Hotels and Tourism.

If Myanmar continues implementing economic, political, and social reforms, international visitor arrivals are forecast to rise as high as 7.5 million in 2020 – a seven-fold increase from current numbers – with corresponding tourism receipts worth $10.1 billion. Under a high growth scenario, the tourism industry could provide up to 1.4 million jobs by 2020. Continue reading.....


Lee Jones 1