Myanmar to strengthen heritage tourism in Bagan

BAGAN, Myanmar - Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism says the government has drawn up a strategy to strengthen heritage tourism in Bagan based on the findings of a Japanese report.

Myanmar to strengthen heritage tourism in Bagan

BAGAN, Myanmar – Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism says the government has drawn up a strategy to strengthen heritage tourism in Bagan based on the findings of a Japanese report.

The report was completed recently by the Japan International Cooperation Agency on behalf of the Myanmar government.

It was part of a wider agreement to study and develop sustainable tourism in the Bagan region and the report’s findings were released officially in April to supply a road map for controlled expansion.

The ministry’s general director, Aung Zaw, said Japan has also promised technical assistance although the actual financial aid has not been specified.

The Bagan region attracted 200,000 tourists in 2013, but officials are concerned that if there are no guidelines on development and services, the area’s historical value will be degraded and swamped by commercial enterprises.

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But the government believes there is room to grow Bagan tourism without damaging its historical value. Less than 10% of all tourists to the country actually visit the hundreds of ancient pagodas that make up the region’s historical park.

Recently hotel developers were told they will would be allowed to build new resorts close to the historical park and visitors would not be allowed to stay overnight at he pagodas. Budget travellers were pitching tents to save on accommodation costs and to make it more convenient for them to view the pagodas at dawn.

But it caused a security risk and added to the historical site’s garbage disposal problems.

Currently, 77 hotels, motels and guest houses are open in Bagan town and surround areas, according to the ministry.

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