The stellar growth trajectory in international arrivals to Myanmar continued into 2014, with the country attracting over three million foreign visitors last year to surpass the government’s expected three million.
President Thein Sein announced this during his New Year message on January 1.
Zeyar, deputy director of Myanmar tourism promotion and international relations, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, confirmed that there had been significant increase from 2013.
“There has been an increase in visitor numbers to Myanmar and hotel occupancy rates are increasing,” Zeyar told TTG Asia e-Daily. “We are currently finalising the (exact) figures but I believe the top markets are China and Thailand. From Europe, the majority of visitors come from France, the UK and Germany.”
Myanmar officially recorded 1.1 million and two million international arrivals in 2012 and 2013 respectively and the country’s tourism industry has seen major growth in recent years, in part brought about by economic and political reforms that have made the country an attractive tourism and investment destination.
Figures released by the Union of Myanmar Travel Association (UMTA) show that 2.8 million visitors entered Myanmar in the first 11 months of 2014, with 1.8 million entering at border points, and one million via airports in Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw and Moulmein.
UMTA figures pinpoint Thailand (176,899), China (113,078) and Japan (73,499) as Myanmar’s biggest source markets. Outside of Asia, the US (54,987), France (36,587) and the UK (36,183) sent the highest number of visitors.
“In December, we saw double the number of bookings that we had for the same period last year,” said Thet Zin, director of Living Irrawaddy Travel Services.
“Bagan is still very popular, particularly boat trips between Mandalay and Bagan, but many people are also interested in newer destinations such as Mount Victoria in Chin State, Ngapali beach and Hsipaw in Northern Shan State,” she added.
Source: TTG Asia