Jun 8, 2013

$500m to help Myanmar tourism plan

The Asian Development Bank (ABD) and Norway are to help Myanmar implement a US$500 million plan to upgrade its tourism industry the Minister for Hotels and Tourism announced on Thursday at the World Economic Forum on East Asia.

“ADB and Norway will help implementation of the plan. The master plan includes both short-term and long-term plans. Among the projects, 21 are the crucial,” said Minister Htay Aung.

The master plan includes projects such as upgrading Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw airports to receive international flights, upgrading jetties at Bagan for improved water transport there, and building roads in Ngapali and Inle regions. However, the benefits and drawbacks of the tourism development must be balanced.

“We have completed a master plan which includes 38 projects. While trying to develop the tourism industry, the possible consequences must also be taken into consideration,” said Htay Aung.

Myanmar has witnessed an influx of foreign tourists after it initiated a series of political and economic reforms in 2011. The number of tourists to Myanmar significantly rose to 1.06 million in 2012. By 2020, some 7.5 million tourists are expected to visit Myanmar, earning $10.1 billion from the industry and creating 1.4 million jobs.

“Tourism will become an essential economic pillar of Myanmar, providing jobs for the Myanmar people as well as for those who live in poor areas,” said Stephen Groff, Vice Chairperson of the Asian Development Bank.

Source: Eleven Weekly Media