Unspoiled Coastlines of Tanintharyi Will Drive Marine Tourism in Myanmar – Ministry Official

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The stunning coastal region of Tanin­tharyi will play a key role in boosting My­anmar’s marine tourism sector, a senior govern­ment official has said.

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism wants to encourage more tourism in the untouched south­ern region in a bid to capitalise on the growing numbers of international luxury travellers taking an interest in Myanmar.

“We are promoting tourism in the Myeik ar­chipelago zone and allow­ing travellers to visit most of the islands except the restricted islands,” said U Myint Htway, director of the ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

The government, INGOs and community based groups are working on a joint plan to boost Myan­mar’s marine tourism sec­tor, the Minister for Ho­tels and Tourism told an audience at the Myanmar International Travel Mart conference last month.

Tanintharyi, Myan­mar’s southern most re­gion, has over 800 islands and was first opened to tourists in 1997, primarily targeting diving and sport fishing tourists.

Amid a surge in upscale tourism in the region, 12 hotel projects have been approved and are under development. Other ap­plications pending review include proposals for a casino, a golf course, and a marine recreation cen­tre.

The developments ap­proved so far in the region are worth $59 million.

While there are 36 li­censed hotels and guest­houses in the regional centres of Kawthung and Myeik, there are only two hotels operating in the Myeik archipelago, in­cluding the Grand Anda­man Resort on Tha Htay Kyun Island and the My­anmar Andaman Resort on Macleod Island.

From 1,158 visitors in 2012, who all arrived via licenced marine vessels, the total number of ar­rivals to Myeik rose to 338,938 in 2016. Num­bers have been buoyed since the opening of the Ranong-Kawthaung bor­der between Thailand and Myanmar in August 2013.

Last month, Myanmar and Thailand updated a 1998 Memorandum of Understanding for co­operation in the tourism sector, especially marine tourism.

 

Source: Myanmar Business Today

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