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It is learnt from the Min­istry of Hotels and Tourism that more foreign tourists visited Myanmar during this year’s tourist season compared to last year.

“1.06 million foreign tourists came in the whole of last year. This year, their number is over 900,000 up till August. So, it is our estimate that the inflow of tourists will surpass the 2 million mark for the whole year. This has come about due to changing political situation. The present situation is now wholly unlike the past. It is also due to the recent government’s decision to allow tourists to enter the country across the border”, said an official from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

An official from Equal Link Travels, a tour com­pany, said that as Asean supporters will probably choose cheaper ways to travel to the South East Asian Games to be held in Myanmar in coming December, they could come via the border gates.

He added thus: “We are preparing to offer tours to Myanmar across the border. They include those who will come in cars and those riding bicycles. These people will comprise a large assortment”

An official from the Myanmar Hoteliers Asso­ciation said in assessment that, in view of the immi­nent large influx of tourists, hotels in Myanmar should prepare themselves for pro­viding excellent service and other facilities, a cut above the old services. He said: “The era of relatives man­ning reception counters is gone. This is the time to give their best services”.

According to statistics is­sued by the Myanmar Hote­liers Association (Mandalay Zone), there are presently 87 hotels, with a combined 3749 hotel rooms in Mandalay zone.

It is learnt that Tachilek, Myawady, Kawthaung and Phaya Thonezu on the border with Thailand are well-known border entry points while Muse, Laukkai and Kunlon on the border with China are less-known border entry points.

Source: The Traveller Journal