Tourism arrivals in Myanmar to drop by 50% this year due to virus crisis

Arrivals of foreign visitors in Myanmar are likely to fall by half this year to as low as 2.15 million amid the global coronavirus outbreak, according to the country’s deputy minister for hotels and tourism, U Tin Latt.

“Chinese tourists account for around 25 per cent of tourists to Myanmar. As Chinese people have stopped traveling, we are likely to lose this amount of arrivals. Travelers from Western countries, Japan and South Korea have also cancelled their trips, so tourist arrivals will drop by up to 50 per cent this year,” the deputy minister said, according to The Irrawaddy newspaper.

Before the coronavirus turned into a global crisis, Myanmar saw over 200,000 tourist arrivals in January, a 25-per cent increase from the same period last year. But after that, many travelers cancelled their trips while a number of airlines suspended operations and some countries denied visas to foreign travelers from risk countries.

Myanmar has ranked highest among the world’s 20 quickest-growing travel destinations over the past year, reporting a 40-per cent increase in arrivals to 4.3 million in 2019 which ranked the country on top of the top ten best performing emerging travel destinations, according to the United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation.

Tourism infrastructure needs to be developed

However, although Myanmar possesses great tourism potential, as well as natural and cultural attractions, much of the industry remains to be developed. Also, the number of visitors to the country is low compared to its neighbours and outpaced even by smaller Laos which welcomed 4.58 million international visitors in 2019.

Growth in tourism in formerly isolated Myanmar began with the installation of a civilian government in 2011. In the following year, tourist arrivals surpassed the one-million-mark for the first time and kept growing amid eased visa regulations. China, Thailand and Japan were the most important source countries.

However, the Rakhine crisis led to a 50-per cent decline in the number of travelers from Western countries in 2018.

Arrivals of foreign visitors in Myanmar are likely to fall by half this year to as low as 2.15 million amid the global coronavirus outbreak, according to the country’s deputy minister for hotels and tourism, U Tin Latt. “Chinese tourists account for around 25 per cent of tourists to Myanmar. As Chinese people have stopped traveling, we are likely to lose this amount of arrivals. Travelers from Western countries, Japan and South Korea have also cancelled their trips, so tourist arrivals will drop by up to 50 per cent this year,” the deputy minister said, according to The Irrawaddy newspaper....

Arrivals of foreign visitors in Myanmar are likely to fall by half this year to as low as 2.15 million amid the global coronavirus outbreak, according to the country’s deputy minister for hotels and tourism, U Tin Latt.

“Chinese tourists account for around 25 per cent of tourists to Myanmar. As Chinese people have stopped traveling, we are likely to lose this amount of arrivals. Travelers from Western countries, Japan and South Korea have also cancelled their trips, so tourist arrivals will drop by up to 50 per cent this year,” the deputy minister said, according to The Irrawaddy newspaper.

Before the coronavirus turned into a global crisis, Myanmar saw over 200,000 tourist arrivals in January, a 25-per cent increase from the same period last year. But after that, many travelers cancelled their trips while a number of airlines suspended operations and some countries denied visas to foreign travelers from risk countries.

Myanmar has ranked highest among the world’s 20 quickest-growing travel destinations over the past year, reporting a 40-per cent increase in arrivals to 4.3 million in 2019 which ranked the country on top of the top ten best performing emerging travel destinations, according to the United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation.

Tourism infrastructure needs to be developed

However, although Myanmar possesses great tourism potential, as well as natural and cultural attractions, much of the industry remains to be developed. Also, the number of visitors to the country is low compared to its neighbours and outpaced even by smaller Laos which welcomed 4.58 million international visitors in 2019.

Growth in tourism in formerly isolated Myanmar began with the installation of a civilian government in 2011. In the following year, tourist arrivals surpassed the one-million-mark for the first time and kept growing amid eased visa regulations. China, Thailand and Japan were the most important source countries.

However, the Rakhine crisis led to a 50-per cent decline in the number of travelers from Western countries in 2018.

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