Two tourism zones to be set up in Mandalay

Bids will be accepted for a project to set up two tourism zones in Mandalay Region to serve foreign visitors, said U Myat Thu, chair of the Tourism Development Committee.

Kuthodaw Pagoda and Mandalay Hill will be designated as historical sites, and Inwa ancient city in Tada-U township will be designated an architectural attraction. Acceptance of bids for the project will begin at the end of this month, and the duration of the contract will be five years.

“Depending on how much they can offer, we will grant a contract. For example, they have to improve infrastructure like roads and basic amenities like sanitation facilities. After five years, if visitors are satisfied with their services, we will extend the contract. We will allow them to collect an entrance fee to the zone,” said U Myat Thu, who is also regional Planning and Finance minister.

Tourists will have to pay a K25,000 fee, which will allow them to visit many places in Mandalay. The zone fee will be announced six months in advance to travel and tour companies, he said.

“Inwa was twice the ancient imperial capital of Burmese kingdoms. It has plenty of architectural interest, which makes it an outstanding zone. Shwe Nan Daw Monastery is a historic place, and the Yadanabon era of the last Myanmar dynasty was in Mandalay, so there is a lot of historical interest to attract tourism,” said U Myat Thu.

Although tourists will agree to pay the zone fee, they require a clean and tidy area where the fee is collected, said U Win Zaw Oo, chair of the Tourist Guide Association of Mandalay.

“There aren’t any toilets in Inwa, which is very inconvenient for visitors. Officials should also ensure safe journeys for visitors between Inwa and Mandalay on the river. The ports still lack proper sanitation. They must focus on these issues,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, out of three million visitors to Myanmar in 2018, over 300,000 were Chinese. Over 200,000 Chinese visitors entered the country through April this year, so the number of Chinese tourist arrivals is expected to rise 94 percent in 2019, said U Hla Myint, director of international and regional cooperation at the ministry.

Source: Myanmar Times

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