Tourism key to Kachin growth, but transport infrastructure is lacking

At the very first investment seminar held in Kachin State last week, the government and local ethnic businesses agreed to focus on developing tourism and other sectors of the Kachin economy to reduce its reliance on mining. Kachin’s economy contributes just 1.9 percent to Myanmar’s GDP, most of which comes from the mining sector. “Kachin […]

Experts say 70% of nation’s coral reefs are damaged

Local and foreign experts have warned that the country’s coral reef cover has declined by 70 percent, but the actual figure is difficult to ascertain because of a lack of data. During a recent meeting to come up with a national action plan to protect sharks and manta rays, experts admitted that coral reefs in […]

Myanmar submits draft of Mrauk-U world heritage bid to UNESCO

Myanmar’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture submitted a draft to UNESCO of its nomination for Mrauk-U to become a World Heritage Site on Sept. 24, amid concerns that ongoing violence in the area could wreck local residents’ hopes for the future of their town. “If there were peace, I am sure Mrauk-U would be […]

Concerns may emerge when Bagan hotels, businesses are forced to move

On July 6, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Bagan as a World Heritage Site, marking Myanmar’s second entry to the list after World Heritage Status was granted to the ancient Pyu cities of Sri Ksetra, Halin and Beikthano in 2014. The ancient city has more than 3500 surviving stupas, temples, […]

Bagan makes UNESCO list, but challenges remain

MANDALAY—After years of effort, Bagan, the archaeological zone and major tourist attraction in central Myanmar, was finally inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List at the World Heritage Committee’s 43th session Saturday. Bagan, a major tourist attraction in central Myanmar, houses more than 3,000 pagodas and temples dating from the 9th to the 13th centuries. Despite […]

Bagan named UNESCO World Heritage Site

Bagan has been named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a quarter of a century after the ancient capital was first nominated. The recognition by the UN’s cultural body will serve to boost demand from both Western and Asian markets, the tourism industry says. But meeting conservation pledges and effective local governance will be critical […]

Chinese businesses moving into Bagan

Chinese nationals are starting businesses in Bagan, buying or renting hotels and restaurants, since early this year, according to local tourism and restaurant businesses. The proposal to list Bagan as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was submitted in 2018, could be one of the reasons for the interest, according to the businesses. Chinese nationals […]

Investors could channel up to US$4.9 billion into Rakhine this year

Foreign and domestic companies last week signed 28 expressions of interest (EOI) to conduct business worth a potential US$4.9 billion in the state this year. The bulk of the EOIs were signed by businesses in the hotel and tourism sector, said U Kyaw Aye Thein, Rakhine State Minister of Finance, Revenue, Planning and Economy. “These […]

Cruise ship arrives in Mergui

The ‘last island paradise’ of the Mergui Archipelago, straddling Myanmar and Thailand, has been in the spotlight with a high-level inspection and a day visit by a large super-cruise ship last week. The group of over 800 islands, for decades dubbed ‘the forbidden islands’ following its closure to all by the Burmese military junta since […]

From boom to bust for Bagan hotels

The humanitarian crisis in northern Rakhine and jailing of two Reuters journalists have hit hospitality businesses in Bagan hard, industry players admitted. But the problem goes beyond these two factors, they said. The government’s lack of law enforcement and absence of infrastructure support have throttled hotels and tourism. On a recent visit, a herd of […]