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Mogok attracts more tourists in six months since opening to foreigners

Over 900 foreign tourists have visited Mogok, famed as Myanmar’s ruby centre, since the government opened it to foreign visitors in September, according to Mandalay Region’s Directorate of Hotels and Tourism.

The agency said the figures include the number of visitors through March.

Mogok is famous among local travellers for its diverse ethnic groups and culture, ruby mines, the Kyauk Pyat That (Stone Roof Tier) landmark, and natural caves. Its mountains are also good for trekking.

Foreign tourists who visited Mogok came mainly from China, Thailand, India, France, the United States, Britain, Russia and Germany.

“Mogok is attracting more tourists, so only tour groups should be allowed to enter. Systematic and sustainable development is crucial to developing a tourist destination,” one tour company owner said.

More than 30 Yangon-based companies use tour guides to conduct seven-day tours of Mogok. But tourists have complained that tour guides usually only meet them upon arrival in the city and send them off to Yangon at the end of their stay.

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism released a notice through the Myanmar Tourism Entrepreneurs Association that said tour companies should ensure that guides stay with tour groups throughout their visit.

Tourism entrepreneurs said that Mogok could become a major tourist destination country since it is the main source of Myanmar rubies.

Source: Myanmar Times

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