N.Africa’s Militant Troubles Take Toll on Morocco Tourism

French tourist Margot Benet thought twice before boarding her plane bound for Morocco’s legendary city of Marrakesh. It was just days afters an Islamist militant gunman had killed 38 tourists in neighboring Tunisia.

RABAT, MOROCCO

After she and her family spent nearly a week in Mar­rakesh and other Moroccan towns without incident, she reckoned that she made the right decision.

But other would-be visitors may not be as convinced that Morocco’s beaches, mountains and historic sites are safe from militant attacks following the Tunisia beach massacre in June.

Morocco’s safety record is among the best in North Africa, but its tourism professionals cite signs of a significant drop in bookings since the Tunisia attack. They fear tourists do not differentiate among countries in the region.

“Mainly with children, that feeling of putting them in danger was awful,” Ben­et’s husband, Olivier, said as the family visited the ancient Hassan mosque in Rabat, the capital. “But terrorism can strike every­where, including in Euro­pean countries.”

Wider apprehension

Before they came, the Benets had a long debate about safety in Morocco with their tour operator, relatives and friends — reflecting wider apprehen­sion that other parts of North Africa frequented by tourists may be targeted by Islamist radicals.

Tunisia’s tourist indus­try has been hammered by two militant assaults in three months — the Bardo museum in Tunis in March, where 20 foreign tourists were killed, and the Sousse beach resort in June, where most of the victims were Britons.

In Morocco, as it is in Tunisia, tourism is a major and vital source of hard-currency reserves and jobs that shore up the economy. “We have got many cancellations since the latest attack in Tunisia, and even worse, we don’t have any visibility as to the next three months,” Farid Kerdad, owner and manager of Riad Al-Maati in the ancient quarter of Rabat. Riads are traditional Moroccan dwellings later converted into hotels.

“What is happening in Tunisia and elsewhere has been definitely affecting Morocco,” said Omar Kab­baj, president of Interedec Maroc, which owns four of the biggest hotels in the North African kingdom, in­cluding the Hyatt Regency cancellations since the latest attack in Tunisia, and even worse, we don’t have any visibility as to the next three months,” Farid Kerdad, owner and manager of Riad Al-Maati in the ancient quarter of Rabat. Riads are traditional Moroccan dwellings later converted into hotels.

“What is happening in Tunisia and elsewhere has been definitely affecting Morocco,” said Omar Kab­baj, president of Interedec Maroc, which owns four of the biggest hotels in the North African kingdom, in­cluding the Hyatt Regency in Casablanca. “We esti­mate the drop in bookings since the Sousse beach attack at 30 percent, but we are talking only about French tourist reservations. [It’s] too early to know about the other nationali­ties.”

Tourism receipts

French tourists account for more than 40 percent of the 10 million tourists Morocco attracts annually. Tourism industry receipts hover around $6 billion per year, or around 6 percent of the country’s gross domes- tic product.

Moroccan Tourism Minister Lahcen Haddad told Reuters it was too early to give figures on the overall impact from Tunisia.

“We have not seen at the moment massive cancellations, but we will see clear- er in the coming weeks,” Haddad said.

However, Morocco’s tourism has already suffered over the past year since the beheading in Algeria of a French tourist by Islamist militants in September, the deadly Islamist attack on the French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January, and the massacre at Tunis’ Bardo museum in March.

Tourism receipts in Morocco slumped by 6.6 percent in the first half of 2015 to 24 billion dirhams ($2.45 billion), down from 26.13 billion dirhams in the corresponding period last year.

North Africa is seen as vulnerable to militant violence given that thousands of young men, especially from Morocco and Tunisia, now fight with jihadist forces in Iraq and Syria, with some threatening to stage attacks upon their return home.

Morocco has put security services on high alert since July 2014 and often announces it has broken up Islamist militant cells accused of plotting inside and outside the kingdom.

It has suffered many attacks by suspected militants, although the last was four years ago in Marrakesh when an Isla­mist bomber blew apart a popular tourist cafe, killing 15 people.

“Obviously, security has become very important in the choice of a destination, and our security services have been working scru­pulously to protect tourists and Moroccan nationals,” Haddad said.

“A security system has been also deployed to pro­tect strategic and tourist sites.”

 Source : The traveller Vol 3, No.7  From July27  To August 2, 2015

Pridiyathorn urges caution before expansion of tourism business

Tourism operators must think carefully before expanding in the current climate of global economic weakness, warns Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridi­yathorn Devakula. The global downturn, which has caused com­modity and farm prices to fall sharply over the past year, is likely to persist for another two or three years, he said yesterday. The sit­uation is unfavorable for many businesses, including tourism, to grow. His remarks were in re­sponse to tourism opera­tors asking the government to provide them low-inter­est loans.

“Low-interest loans are not the point. The prob­lem is that Thai business people have built too many hotels, causing an over­supply and price wars. The government can’t inter­vene in the market,” MR Pridiyathorn told a seminar entitled “Moving Forward Thailand … Moving For­ward Tourism”.

To deal with heavy com­petition in tourism, Thai­land should use the advan­tage of its tourism facilities to establish itself as a hub for Cambodia, Laos, Myan­mar and Vietnam, he said.

In his view, tourism operators and the Tourism and Sports Ministry should seriously promote Thailand as a tourist destination linked to neighboring countries to capture quali­ty tourists such as Europe­ans and Japanese.

Tourism is a key sector for the flagging Thai econ­omy this year. The Tourism Department estimates that the country will receive 29 million tourists by year­ end, with expected foreign exchange income of 1.4 trillion baht.

In 2014, 24.7 million foreigners visited Thailand and spent 1.13 trillion baht.

MR Pridiyathorn suggest­ed that tourism operators and related groups find new selling points apart from sea, sand and sun —perhaps Thai culture and history — to boost visitor numbers.

Many tourists, especially Japanese and Europeans, are seeking new and chal­lenging travel experiences but still prefer comfortable and convenient destina­tions to relax before going home.

Tourism and Sports Min­ister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said a scheme to link destinations in Thai­land and nearby countries would be included in her ministry’s tourism devel­opment plan for 2015-17.

The plan will feature five tourism clusters: Lanna (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Lampang, Phayao); the southern Northeast region (Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket, Ubon Rat­chathani); the East Coast (Chop Buri, Rayong, Trat, Chanthaburi); the West Coast (Phetchaburi, Pra­chuap Khiri Khan, Chum­phon, Ranong); and the Andaman (Phuket, Phang­nga, Krabi, Satun, Trang).

Each cluster aims to boost tourism and generate revenue for local commu­nities in line with govern­ment policy.

MR Pridiyathorn said Thailand should have quality information kiosks in all the major tourist des­tinations, with clean toilets available for tourists.

Addressomg complaints of hotel oversupply in resort destinations, he said hoteliers should solve the problem themselves, but he vowed to crack down on illegal hotels.

 Source : The traveller Vol 3, No.7  From July27  To August 2, 2015

Why Myanmar Belongs On Your Travel Wish List Now

I travel luxe but smart: I know what’s worth shelling out for 7.13.2015

When people think of Myanmar, several things come to mind: an oppres­sive military government, the Nobel Peace Prize-win­ning efforts of dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, that Seinfeld episode, a refugee crisis.

What comes less readily to our thoughts is that the country long known as Bur­ma was once the richest in Southeast Asia, thanks to its plentiful natural resources from rubies and sapphires to rice and teak.

And in important ways, the country is still quite abundant, despite its traumatic history: Brit­ish colonialism, Japanese occupation in World War II, a coup and miserably failed experiment with socialism the 1960s-’80s, a dangerous drug trade, a devastating cyclone, and a brutally repressive military dictator­ship from 1989 until, well, the jury is out. But elections were held in 2010 and will be again this fall, Aung San Suu Kyi was freed from house arrest, and things are improving.

(The advice against going has changed to an invitation to come and support local businesses.)

The economy was deci­mated, there was tremen­dous suffering, and the GDP is still low and poverty high. It’s hard to come away with­out feeling grateful for your own insane good fortune at having been born some­where else.

That’s not meant to be a downer. But it’s impossible to separate Myanmar’s past from its hopeful present. And the backdrop makes the richness that shimmers through that much more alluring.

The country is still rich in minerals gemstones and jewelry are spectacular, to say nothing of the gold-cov­ered and jewel-encrusted pagodas. It’s rich in beauty, both natural, like the morn­ing-misted shimmer of Inle Lake, and man-made, such as the glass mosaics that sparkle like kaleidoscopes inside temples. It’s rich in spirituality most people are deeply Buddhist, with a bit of animism and astrology mixed in.

Leaving offerings or pray­ing silently on their knees, the devout far outnumber the tourists at pagodas, some of which are major pilgrimage destinations for Theravada Buddhists throughout the region. Vir­tually all men join a mon­astery at various points, often starting for a week when they’re 7, almost like a spiritual summer camp, and young monks in oxblood robes, are everywhere pres­ent.

And at risk of invoking a travel-writing cliche, it’s rich in the warmth and generosi­ty of those who live there.

People invited me into their homes in small villages to talk openly about their lives and their country.

Everyone smiled, every­where. Domestic tourists at a pagoda asked to take pictures with the tall, pale redhead who is me.

I learned the phrase “like throwing a sesame seed in an elephant’s mouth,” which came in handy when declining teenage monks’ offers to share their meager rations of rice for which they had begged on the streets with me.

The main reason to go now is that it’s rich in in­trigue, as places are during times of transition.

“There is no greater reward than discovering a nation as it opens up to the outside world,” says Edward Granville, the travel spe­cialist at Red Savannah who planned my trip.

“That time is now for Myanmar, whose residents could not be happier to greet inquisitive travelers.

More than her breathtak­ing sights, it is the charm of Myanmar’s people that creates the most lasting memories.” (I traveled as a guest of Red Savannah.)

That said, it’s not a time cap­sule. The country is limping into the 21st century, but what’s interesting is that there’s virtually no western influence.

You can see the presence of contemporary China, but American culture is notice­ably lacking.

It’s just about the only place I’ve been with no KFC. Even in Yangon, a city of more than 5 million, only about half have mobile phones, and just one-third of the country is on the electrical grid (though many houses use solar); people still send telegrams. Tradi­tions live.

Men and women wear sarong-like garments called longyis and powder their faces with yellow makeup made from tree bark.

In the countryside, the diverse ethnic tribes have retained their adornments, such as the colorful tur­ban-like head-wear of the Pa’O people and the tat­tooed faces of Chin women who were deemed too beau­tiful for their own safety.

Change is inevitable, and as Myanmar opens to the world, its distinctiveness will flatten out.

‘Yangon has dozens of shopping malls and a handful of new high-rise luxury condominiums, built pri­marily for the entrepreneur­ial expats who are flocking here to seize opportunities in a country that so far has no industry.

A massive new interna­tional airport in Yangon, designed to accommodate long-haul flights from the U.S., is in the works, joining the one in the new capital of Naypyitaw.

Hotels are under con­struction everywhere, and farmers around Bagan are selling their land to buy cars to become tourist drivers.

They have reason: Offi­cial tourism numbers were about 1 million visitors in 2012, 2 million in 2013, and 3 million in 2014, and a guide told me the govern­ment is projecting 5 million this year.

That’s another reason to go now. And right now, in the summer rainy season, as I did.

The major sites can al­ready get crowded in winter and spring. But in June, there were only a fraction of the high-season tourists, and the rains are unpredict­able but generally brief.

In two weeks, I got wet in exactly one downpour, which felt wonderful on a sweltering day.

Even when Myanmar tourism was only for scrappy backpackers, travel tended to follow a circuit.

It still does, thanks to flights that connect the dots of a circle. People on my 7am flight from Yangon to Bagan turned up two days later for the 8:30am flight from Bagan to Mandalay. The potential sameness of travel makes it worth organizing your trip with an expert planner.

                Red Savannah’s Granville, who has spent 20 years in the luxury travel world since graduating from Oxford, mostly with Abercrombie & Kent, is an old Myanmar hand.

             It’s partly his “keen interest in understanding Britain’s imperial past” but mostly his deep affection for Myanmar’s “totally charm­ing people, who have been left behind and appallingly mistreated by successive rulers and governments, but who still manage to be about the most sincere peo­ple you could hope to meet.”

His understanding mani­fests in his connections with the country’s best guides.

Each of mine had at least a decade of experience and was a natives or longtime resident of the area where they worked.

Their knowledge and personability, especiallyYan Naing Htun in Mandalay, as well as their skill at hacking the usual circuit to avoid tour-bus crowds, made my trip memorable.

But it was the local villag­ers they introduced me to their own friends who really left an impact.

The four stops of the circuit offer a compre­hensive overview. The start is in Yangon, with its colonial-meets-modern architecture, its bustling markets (live chickens for sale!), 216-foot-long reclin­ing Buddha and spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda that is decorated with 40 tons of gold. It’s also home to the only truly western -style luxury hotel in the country (so far), the lovely Belmond Governor’s Residence, in the leafy diplomatic corner of the city.

From there it’s onto Bagan and its 2,300+ plus 11th – to 13th-century pagodas in 20 square miles of UNESCO World Heritage area.

My favorite city was Man­dalay, with its remnants of imperial life, centuries-old monasteries, workshops producing everything from gold leaf to marble Buddhas for offerings and, of course, pilgrimage-worthy pagodas, especially Maha-Myat-Mu­ni, where the devoted layer sheets of gold leaf on the Buddha and have been for so many years that the figure appears to be swaddled in blankets.

Even better was when Red Savannah took me off the circuit, adding a spur to Hsipaw, in the eastern Shan plateau, whose culture is an important strand in the mosaic that is Myanmar.

It meant a day in tran­sit, by car and a rickety 19th-century railroad that crossed Gokteik viaduct on the longest testle in the world, shaking dramatically all the way.

That was a case of the journey being an end itself, but the destination of Hsipaw, normally just a stop for serious trekker packers or backpackers in search of an inexpensive place to chill out, is a highlight on its own. It’s a slice of a different style of life, and an important part of history.

It was home to the impe­rial palace of the last Shan prince, who was disap­peared during the 1962 coup. The tragic story is told eloquently in Twilight Over Burma, by that prince’s European-born wife, a book that Red Savannah enthusi­astically and rightly encour­aged me to read.

Two of the prince’s de­scendants still live in the palace, and welcome guests daily to share that powerful history.

The detour on the way back from that detour to Mandalay was an afternoon in the bucolic hill town of Maymio, where the elite col­onists of Yangon escaped the blistering summer heat and local tourists now visit the extensive botanical garden and chill out in the cool air.

Red Savannah gave me another hill town on the way to the last stop sun on the circuit as well. Kalaw may not have been the most exciting tows but literary tourists love it because the love story The Art of Hearing Heartbeats was written and takes place there.

I loved it for the utterly charming Tudor-style Amara Mountain Resort especially being able to sleep there with open windows instead of fully cranked air-con, coo air being a major luxury after ten days of power sweating.

The circuit ends on Inle Lake in the Shan state, a UNESCO Biosphere Resery whose natural beauty is matched by its compelling culture.

A market moves among several villages, many of them reached solely by long-tail boat, packed with shop­pers and vendors from four tribes, all in their traditional garb. Each village specializes in producing one product, such as boats, beautiful fab­rics made of silk and lotus fibers, or savory snacks.

The boat journeys be­tween them take you past Inle Lake’s impressive aquatic tomato farms, in which growers cultivate to­matoes on floating islands of sediment these turn out to be delicious, especially in a local specialty of tomato salad with peanut dressing and more impressive fishermen.

They perform a sort of la­borious ballet, balancing on one foot at the bows of their boats, moving a net with their arms and using their other leg to propel an oar that steers the boats. Watch­ing them is mesmerizing.

Which brings me to the richness of resourceful­ness. Through everything Myanmar has been through, people have found ways to make things work. That’s deeply appealing, and yet another reason to go.

 Source : The traveller Vol 3, No.7  From July27  To August 2, 2015

Informatisation of Civil Aviation Industy

Date:       28-Oct-15 to 29-Oct-15

 

Location: Zurich Exhibition Center / Beijing / China

 

Category: Aviation & Aero­space IT Conferences &Trade Fairs

The first hot word for this year is probably “Made In China 2025″. As one of the paramount strategies for the next decade regarding the industrial development in China, this policy focuses on following the development trend of so-called “Internet+” and requests a high level of integration of informatisation and industrialisation.

Keywords like “innova­tion-driven”, “informatisation and intelligentisation” has drawn wide attentions global­ly as a new industrial revolu­tion is approaching.

 

Visitors

Aviation Industry,Insti­tute,Association, etc

 

Exhibitors

Aeronautical (Manufactur­ing) Enterprises

 

Go to event website

EIN News provides power­ful, real-time media moni­toring, news aggregation & syndication services. Read the latest news about this topic.

 

See:

  • Aero India News Today
  • Airline Industry Today
  • Airshow China News Today
  • Conferences & Trade Shows Today Dubai Airshow News Today
  • EBACE Airshow News Today
  • Farnborough Airshow News Today
  • Hacker Attacks News Today
  • IT Industry Today
  • Microsoft Windows News Today
  • Moscow Air Show News Today
  • Paris Air Show News Today
  • Singapore Airshow News Today
  • Software Industry Today
  • The Pirate Bay News Today
  • Xbox News Today

Source : The traveller Vol 3, No.7  From July27  To August 2, 2015

Air Industries Group Announces Quarterly Dividend

Air Industries Group (NYSE MKT:AIRI) (Air Industries or the Company) Air Industries Group today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a quarterly divi­dend of $0.15 per common share will be paid on August 12, 2015 to ashareholders of record as of the close of busi­ness on August 3, 2015.

For additional information, please call 631.881.4913 or by email at: ir@airindustries­group.com

 

ABOUTAIR INDUSTRIES GROUP

Air Industries Group (AIRI) is an integrated manufactur­er of precision components and provider of supply chain services for the aerospace and defense industry.

The Company has over 35 years of experience in the industry and has developed leading positions in several important markets that have significant barriers to entry.

With embedded relation­ships with many leading aerospace and defense prime contractors, the Company designs and manufactures structural parts and assem­blies that focus on flight safety, including landing gear, arresting gear, engine mounts and flight controls. Air Industries Group also pro­vides sheet metal fabrication, tube bending, and welding services.

Certain matters discussed in this press release are ‘forward-looking statements’ intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

In particular, the Compa­ny’s statements regarding trends in the marketplace, the ability to realize firm back­log and projected backlog, potential future results and acquisitions, are examples of such forward-looking state­ments.

The forward-looking state­ments are subject to numer­ous risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the timing of projects due to variability in size, scope and duration, the inherent discrepancy in actual results from estimates, projections and forecasts made by management regulatory delays, changes in govern­ment funding and budgets, and other factors, including general economic conditions, not within the Company’s control The factors discussed herein and expressed from time to time in the Compa­ny’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission could cause actual results and developments to be mate­rially different from those expressed in or implied by such statements.

The forward-looking state­ments are made only as of the date of this press release and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking state­ments to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

 Source : The traveller Vol 3, No.7  From July27  To August 2, 2015

The Bernard Free Library in the Pre-war Era

After the British occupation of the lower Myanmar by the Second Anglo-Burmese war, the Bernard Free Library appeared.

It was one of the oldest buildings with English names given by the British rulers. The Bernard Free Library was located in the compound of the Rangoon Government High School (now BENS No. 1, Lathar Township) at the corner of Commissioner Road (now Bogyoke Aung San Rd.) and Shwe Dagon Pagoda Road.

It was a small wooden building with a pointed roof, inaugurated by Chief Commissioner Sir Charles Bernard and Chairman of the Burma Education Syndicate Sir John Jardine on 21st February, 1883. On its opening day Sir John Jardine who was also Jus­tice of the lower Myanmar donated his own old books to the library.

Pali Professor Childa had studied the literary work of Buddhist pali literature (scripture) while he carried out is government duties ‘in Sri Lanka. When he went back to England, he com­piled the first Pali-English Dictionary. He donated his newly compiled dictionar­ies to the library.

Both European literature and Oriental literature had been collected and accept­ed for loan at the Bernard Free Library.

In the European liter­ature section included various kinds of book published 230 to 300 years ago, English language mag­azines published 100 years ago, journal published by the London Asia Society, Asian Journal, published at Calcutta, old Indian Knowl edge Journals published at Bombay, Oriental Histor­ical Journal, published in French language at Saigon and Myanmar-Malayu-Tha dictionary published at India in 1812.

In The oriental literature section the printed ver­sion (qy & )and the version of Manu script found in palm-leaves (Goy) were separately collected, a collection of printed books were antiquated works of literature published before 1885 A.D. (1247 ME), and Myanmar Pyazats (dramas) published between 1768 and 1898.

There were palm-leef manuscript , Prabide and hand written scripts. There were four kinds of lan­guage, like Pali, Myanmar, Mon and Karen. Since its inception the Bernard Free Library urged Pali Profes­sor Ford Shamar to go to various parts of the coun­try and make enquiries the condition of palm-leaf manuscript, Parabide and hand written script he found.

He submitted a report about their, prevalent condition. He collected all the policies of manuscript available by donating, copying and buying as far as he could. He supervised Myanmar and Mon nation­als to copy palm-leaf and hand written manuscripts and Parabide and collectec them.

He inscribed the “Ber­nard-Policy” on the pages of the books of poem, Pyo and history. The Europe­an language books were catalogued with year of publication, and palm-leaf manuscript, Parabide and hand written Manu script of pali, Myanmar, Mon anc Karen Languages might be found at the Bernard Free Library.

The Bernard Free Library was really a people library which allowed every one t( study and read the books a free of charge.

In those days “for those who could not find any book he wanted to read, go to the Bernard Free Library” as our saying goes according to scholars.

The British Government had aided the Bernard Free Library throughout the years of its existence. Since its in caption the Govern­ment Education Syndicate had administered the library, and since 1920 the nine-membered executive committee had continued to administer it.

Sir Charles Bernard, Sir John Jardine, Prof. Childa, i U Po Hmyin and U Myo donated books abundantly to the library.

The Bernard Free Li­brary received some of the palm-leaf manuscripts and Parabide from the King Thibaw Library, the British Government entrusted Mr. Jame Kolaback with the duty of looking after the Shwe Nandaw Pitakat Teik (the King Thibaw Library). “Soon after taking respon­sibility he divided the book list into three portions -one for the Bernard Free Library, one for the India Library in London and one for the King of Siam and sent them to the respective destinations” written in the official record.

In 1921 the Bernard Free Library bought in Indian Rupees 15,000 worth of palm-leaf manuscripts and Parabide from the Kinwun Mingyi Pitaka Teik (Library) and kept them there.

There were a total number 1,333 of Kinwun Mingyi’s palm-leaf manu­scripts, Parabide and scrip­tures” recorded in Charles Duroiselle and Pali Saya Hpyay’s catalogue. During the Second World War Saya Zaw Gyi and Saya Min Thu Wun moved this invaluable groperties to a village near t vante and took them back after the war.

The Bernard Free Library bought Indian Rupees 10,000 worth of Kinwun Mingyi’s palm-leaf manuscripts and Parabide, and opened the library with the name “The Kinwun Mingyi Pitaka Teik”. The Bernard Free Library with the name “The Kinwun Mingyi Pitaka Teik”.

The Bernard Free Library governing body continued to take responsibility of ad- ministering both the Ber- nard Free Library and the Kinwun Mingyi Pitaka Teik. Currently Kinwun Mingyi’s Parabides have been kept at the National Museum. The Bernard Free Library brought and kept rupees 5,000 worth of Bagan Wun Htauk Minn U Tin’s books and Parabides.

Before his demise (10 years before the WW II) he donated five cupboard loades of his own Para-bides, palm-leaf manu­scripts and printed books to the British government.

Both Kinwun Mingyi and Bagan Wun Htauk Minn U Tin’s properties had been kept safely in a room at the Secretariat (ex-Ministers’ office), Yangon.

After King Thibaw’s exile, Bagan Wunhtauk Minn U Tin had the chance of compiling palm-leaf manu­scripts and Parabide which had been kept safely in the Secretariat. On 5th May 1940 the 57 years old wooden building was closed down and all the movable properties were moved to the newly constructed building of Yangon Municipal Corpo­ration on 27th June of the same year.

On 20th February 1942 when the city dwellers de­serted the Yangon City, The Library became in disorder and its invaluable proper­ties were looted by lawless persons. In 1952 the’rem­nants of books and man­uscripts were moved from the Municipal building to Jubilee Hall on Shwedagon Pagoda Road.

The Library was opened with the name “The Union of Burma Pitaka Teik” and later its name was changed to the National Library.

 Source : The traveller Vol 3, No.7  From July27  To August 2, 2015

Hotel construction in Mandalay under the same regular procedures

Hotel constructions are permitted in accord with the former laws laid down by Hotels and Tourism Ministry and up to the end of June, the number of new hotel constructions is about 30, per source of Myanmar Hotel Entrepreneurs Association (Mandalay Zone). It is learnt that to the end of June 2015, Hotels and Tourism Directorate permitted hotels and guest houses are 156 having 6,345 rooms in Mandalay. ” Currently, we still permit like the former hotel construction law and so rule and regulations are the same. Up to the end of June, we have submitted for new 30 hotels,” said U Myint Aung, Chairman of the Association. Because of flourishing hotels, there will be no shortage of hotel room in peak season. With the nation-wide figure, from May to the end of June 2015, issued 17 hotel licences. Foreigners come to eye on investment including hotel business in Mandalay. If a hotel is to be set up in Mandalay cultural zone, recommendation of respective ministry is required.

 Source : The traveller Vol 3, No.7  From July27  To August 2, 2015

Maha Bagan pillars and SEA Games Mascot to be exhipited at cultural centres

It is learnt that great Bagan Pillars and SEA Games mas­cot models will be exhibited to take souvenir photos at three cultural centres – National Theatre (Yangon), National Theatre (Mandalay) and High School of Fine Arts at KanbawzaVilla,Yangon. “Great Bagan Pillars used in 27 SEA Games entertainment and mascot model owls are Myanmar memorial items, popular among spectators. SEA Games mascot models are very lucky and so we arrange for public to enjoy,” said a responsible person from Archeology and Na­tional Museum Department, Cultural Ministry. In the 27 SEA Games, seven sport events inYangon, one each in Mandalay and Ngwe Saung and 26 in Nay Pyi Taw were performed.

 Source : The traveller Vol 3, No.7  From July27  To August 2, 2015

Refund for cancelled trips due to weather

In the rainy season, sold pilgrimage tickets are refunded if the trip schedule is cancelled due to the weather condition, per source of Myanmar Local Pilgrimage and Tourism Associa­tion. During this year, notification for places where are uneasy to travel are banned to visit are informed and some trips are cancelled, said Chairman U Than Htay of the Association. ” We refund ticket fare if we call off the trip, as done in last year,” he said. Within this rainy season, some destinations are not set up due to the weather condition but 2/3 tickets are sold. “Cur­rently, there are ticket sellers who are non-members of Myanmar Local Pilgrimage and Tourism Association. We are unable to solve the problems arising with them. We try to deal all matters among the Association’s members; it is difficult for us to take measure with non-members,” said General Secretary U Kyaw Min Hlaing. There was an evidence in the past, no refund considered to his customers for cancellation by a non-member of Myanmar Local Pilgrimage and Tourism Association.

Source : The traveller Vol 3, No.7  From July27  To August 2, 2015

The first PR grants in Myanmar

Permanent Residence applicants in Myanmar have been granted on 13 July, 2015 for the very first time, per source of PR Department of Immigration and Manpower Ministry. PR system charge for one year is US$ 1,000 for a foreigner, $ 500 for ex-Myanmar citizen, $ 300 for a child between 7 and 18 years and free for under 7 years. “We have accepted PR applications since 29 Jan. For the first PR issuance is on 13 July. All the applications were sent to the authority and only passed applicants are granted. Later the process will be faster and will be better than now,” said Daw Thida Aung, staff officer of PR Division. At present, among PR system processes, this sys­tem is the very first and not to gap, necessary procedures are discussed completely step by step.

To exercise such system for the very first time, depending on national economy and state security situation, more countries will be granted PR system and forms will be carried out in accord with State and international standards. However, according to the Myanmar Citizenship Law, 1982, dual citizenship is not allowed.

 Source : The traveller Vol 3, No.7  From July27  To August 2, 2015

Heart-shaped Lake on the Kyatmauk Island in Myeik Islands

Amidst Myeik Islands, a heart-shaped lake on the Kyatmauk Island is attracting local travIlers and Thai tourist. The island is 120-acre wide and in the centre 300ft diameter wide heart-shaped lake is located. It is in Zadetgyi Village Track, at 28 miles south east of Kawthaung Town. In the Myeik archipelago , significant island worth to visit is Thahtey Is-land and later in these days, vacationers come to interest Kyatmauk Island, per source of an official from Hotels and Tourism Directorate (Myeik Department). ” Here, there are many Thai tour agencies and manyThailanders come to visit there whereas there are still a few Myanmar owned tourist companies. Kyat-mauk Island is the latest popular resort. Spe-cial permission is required for foreigners; local visitors can go to everywhere except prohibit-ed area; transportation is difficult,” he said.

Now, local tour agencies sell tour tickets for Kawthaung, Ranong (Thailand), Thahtey Island and additional Kyatmauk Island where they enjoy scuba diving and natural scenic beauty.

  Source : The traveller Vol 3, No.7  From July27  To August 2, 2015

Installation of Telematics System on express buses and cargo trucks running on the Yangon-Mandalay Highway

Telematics system will be installed on express buses and cargo trucks which run on Yangon- Mandalay Expressway, it is learnt. Ministry of Construction had instructed on 19 March, to install the system as of 1 April, 2015 to prevent accidents on the expressway. Despite the Min­istry’s instruction, car owners are not willing to install the system up to June due to high costs of installation. So, the installation charges will be borne by the government, it is learnt. The system can detect the over speed, reckless driving and over weight lorries. Moreover, the system can connect directly to express bus and can control the express bus. It can check the situation of drivers at steering, speed, brake and other information in five second for one time, it is learnt. -The system is operated with the cooperation of B Smart Co., Ltd., Maintenance of Public Con­struction, Ministry of Construction, Ministry of Home Affair and Highway Police Force. There are over 15,000 vehicles running on the expressway daily, and only 200 trucks had installed the system, it is learnt.

  Source : The traveller Vol 3, No.7  From July27  To August 2, 2015

KBZ receives Euromoney Awards for Escellence

Kanbawza Bank received Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2015 for Asian Capacity prize according to the country selected from London-based Euromoney authority, per source of Kan­bawza Bank’s announcement. London-based Euromoney is the leading authority for world banking and finan­cial markets and evaluates international banking and businesses after meeting with representative authorities from world leading banks, commercial institutes and international investment markets and holding seminar and conference in countries all over the world including Myanmar. The aims of the prize are the deposit amount of people, first service of electronic payment gateway for e-commerce and online payment, the most profitable bank in the country, top lend­er for SMEs and diversifying its services through branches, the top private bank and taxpayer in the country and nourishing human devel­opment in banking sector. Moreover, the bank can offer banking service with the link of other hands within short time and it can hold the most market-shares in internation­al banking sector. Currently, KBZ has already opened 330 branches including 102 mini banks throughout the country, with the workforce of 14,000 staff members in banking business.

 Source : The traveller Vol 3, No.7  From July27  To August 2, 2015

Nearly 0.3 Million tourists in first six months of 2015 three airports

From January to the end of June, 2015, nearly 0.3 million visitors arrived with tourist visa throughYangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw International Airports. There are about 1.5 million travellers with various visas, per source of Immigration Department.

Among three airports, Yangon stands top and the rest two are Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw. Up to the end of June, about 250,000 tourists passed through Yangon International Airport and Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay airports received nearly 50,000.

Other sources – border gates are highest and luxurious cruise liners entry is blooming more than last year. When compared with last year, this year is more thriving than last year, said U Hlaing Min, Deputy Director General of Directorate of Hotels and Tourism.

“Since 2011, world tourist entry is running well. Transportation and tourism, tour guide, ho­telier sector are developing,” he said. The number of foreign entry is 1.06 million in 2012,, 2.04 million in 2013, 3.08 million in 2014 respectively.

Hotels and Tourism Ministry estimates about 5 million world trotters in 2015 and it will be 7.5 million in 2020.

 Source : The traveller Vol 3, No.7  From July27  To August 2, 2015

Organizing a National Committee to conserve Inle Lake

Inle Lake situated in south­ern Shan State is designated as Myanmar’s first Human and Biosphere reserve, will be conserved by organizing a national committee, said U Win Naing Thaw, Director of Environmental and Wildlife Division under the Forest Department, Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry. Inle Lake has been selected as human and biosphere reserve at 27th International Coordinating Council Meeting in Paris on 8-12 June, it is learnt. “We have observed what is operating in other countries as it is first time for Myanmar. We also learn their manage­ment and will apply which is suitable for our country We already have organizations and commit­tee and we will try to unite and negotiate with them. President also encourage to organize a national commit­tee when we are planning the projects and it is a strength for us and said that technical organization and practical organization to operate the practical projects had to be organized under the com­mittee. So, we organize the national committee and there will be a technical organiza­tion under the committee. Under that department, there will be a coordinating of regional organization and we will operate with these organizations”, said UWin Naing Thaw. Inle Lake is the most significant and beau­tiful inland freshwater lake, wetland ecosystem besides cultural heritage in Myan­mar and it is very important to conserve the lake as long as the country stands, It is 215.28 sq mile wide, home for 345 species of wildlife birds and wetland birds, 25 species of amphibian and reptile species, 184 orchid species, 59 species of freshwater fish, 3 species of tortoise and 94 species of butterfly.

 Source : The traveller Vol 3, No.7  From July27  To August 2, 2015

Free entrance to Nay Pyi Taw National Museum

National Museum at Naypyitaw which is undertaken by the Department of Archaeolo­gy and National Museum, Ministry of Culture can be visited at free of charge from 15th July to 15th August. The Museum is situated on YazaThingaha Road, near Kumudra Kyarpann roundabout, Ottayathiri Township, Naypy­itaw. It has five buildings marked as A, B, C, D and E. In building ‘A’  there are Mini theatre, President’s gift exhibition room and recreation centre for public. Primate and fossil exhibition room, Natural History exhibition room, art gallery and Myanmar performing arts exhibi­tion room are in building `B’. Opening hour: 9:0 am -4:30 pm and no entrance fee for public from 15th July to 15th August except Monday and official holidays. The main purpose of the National Museum is to highlight national prestige and integrity, to highlight the nation’s rich cultural heritage, to show the soft power and ability of the nation, to build museum be level with the nation’s prestige and grade, to construct the museum to be a modem and at­tractive one with right preservation technique and high standard, it is learnt. Foundations of these five buildings were laid on 3rd June, 2010.

 Source : The traveller Vol 3, No.7  From July27  To August 2, 2015

Angelina Jolie in Myanmar

Angelina Jolie – Hollywood’s mega star, ambassador of UNHCR is in Myanmar to help educate the voters for upcoming election in Myanmar in November 2015. She arrived in the infamous new capital of Myanmar “Naypyidaw” at 10. a.m on 29th July, 2015 and was greeted by Myanmar Officials and UNHCR representatives.
 
Ms. Jolie will stay in Myanmar for 4 more days and will participate in electoral capacity programs with British Embassy in Yangon.
 
Jolie remarked that she was saddened to meet a 21-year-old Karenni woman who was born in a Thai – Myanmar border refugee camp, who has never even been out of the camp and is now raising her own child in a camp.