Locals strive to develop other industries in bid to preserve Mogok’s natural resources

While Mogok is known for its mining of precious gems as its main industry, local elders are teaming up with relevant government departments to improve their travel industry in order to reduce damaging the natural environment.

Restrictions for international travelers to Mogok were relaxed in September 2018 and nearby villages of Bernard, Panlin, and Kaukpyathat were also allowed entry in 2019, contributing to increased travel in the region.

Mogok elder Daw Phyu Phyu Myint said visits to Mogok increased noticeably in 2019, especially from domestic travelers, while international travelers mostly visit Bernard Village. She said while mining had been the main industry since their ancestor’s time, she wished for development in an alternative industry to reduce dependence on mining of precious gem resources.

She said this will conserve the national environment and preserve the natural resources for years to come. Thus, the entire city has decided to partner with government departments to develop other sources of income, said Daw Phyu Phyu Myint.

Currently, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism is working with residents to fix roads leading to Mogok and Bernard and construct lodgings for travelers, while sharing information on cooking regional foods that are healthy for international travelers. Local residents expect this to raise travel to their region in 2020.

U San Yu, Deputy Director of the Mandalay Region Directorate of Hotels and Tourism, said Mogok is famously known as Ruby land and the local government is working with the people to properly manage the region and develop tourism. He said they are also preserve ring the traditions and culture of local ethnic races through developing human resources.

While international travelers used to be restricted entry into Mogok, the ban was lifted on the third week of September 2018 and further bans to surrounding villages, war cemetery and old ammunition storages in Bernard, Panlin, and Kyaukpyathat were lifted on 31 January 2019. Over 1,400 international visitors entered Mogok in 2019.

Source: Global New Light of Myanmar

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