Tourism revenue in Myanmar dips 80% during COVID-19

Revenue from tourism has dropped by more than 80 percent, or around US$2.3 billion, since the pandemic in Myanmar, according to a survey by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

The survey covers the tourism sector together with other related sectors like international airlines, domestic transportation, food and beverage, accommodation, entertainment and culture as well as shopping.

Since COVID-19, revenue generated from all these sectors totalled US$543 million compared to US$2.8 billion in 2019.

“All the Myanmar airlines lease their planes. As they have all been grounded this year, we are all suffering losses,” one domestic airline official said.

Meanwhile, international airlines have also been suspended from landing in the country since April, leading to an overnight collapse in the number of tourists entering Myanmar.

This, in turn, has had an impact on restaurants, shops and transport, which have also suffered huge losses.

With COVID-19 likely to plague the country for another year or more and foreign tourists unable to enter the country, more focus can be placed on attracting domestic travelers, the ministry said.

A recovery plan is in place to aid the industry under which tourism businesses will be permitted to resume operations with COVID-19 prevention measures in place, U Ohn Maung, Minister for Hotels and Tourism, said earlier this month.

“Tourism will resume under the Myanmar Tourism Strategic Recovery Roadmap, which was drafted at the national level with the help of international experts,” he said.

He added that the Enchanting Myanmar Health and Safety Protocols for Safe Tourism will ensure that the sector follows all health protocols. “Training will be provided on following health guidelines,” he said.

Tourism licenses will be issued by regional and state tourism and the industry expects to reopen at the beginning of 2021, but they say government support is still weak.

Source : Myanmar Times

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