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Number of tourist arrivals to Myanmar will reach 0.5 million to 1.8 million in 2023: Vice-Senior General

Naypyitaw, June (30) The National Tourism Development Central Committee held the first meeting at Horizon Lake View Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday, with an address by Chairman of the Central Committee Vice-Chairman of the State Administration Council Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win. Speaking on the occasion, the Central Committee Chairman said today’s meeting was to discuss the ways and means to rapidly develop Myanmar’s tourism services for creating jobs for local people and resurge the businesses related to the tourism industry depending on control of COVID-19 infection. The tourism industry can create millions of jobs and business opportunities in global countries and it is a drive for new generations to enjoy natural and ancient cultural heritages and preservation tasks. In some countries having the development of tourism industry, income from the tourism industry is playing a key role in State economy. And, it is the third-largest export sector of the global economy. Moreover, the tourism sector is of great importance in the exploration of new sites for humans, culture and exposures as well as conservation of natural biodiversity. As the tourism industry is important not only for Myanmar but for the whole world, all global countries including Myanmar are implementing the tourism sector in line with the sustainable development goals of the United Nations for systematic development in the long run. Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, travelling across the world was restricted. As such, the year 2020 was the worst in the global tourism industry. According to the data of the United Nations World Tourism Organization-UNWT in March 2021, visits of tourists across the world declined 94 per cent in comparison with the same period of last year, 83 per cent in Europe, 81 per cent in Africa, 78 per cent in the Middle East and 94 per cent in Asia-Pacific Region, and income from the tourism industry lost US$1.1 trillion, Asia-Pacific Region 70 per cent and Middle East 69 per cent. Due to COVID-19, arrivals of tourists in Myanmar in 2020 declined 79 per cent in comparison with that of 2019 with an 81 per cent decrease of income from the tourism industry. Moreover, the country lost many opportunities for jobs related to the tourism industry. Depending on the control of the disease, global countries resumed tourism services. So, destinations halted as of early September 2020 were resumed by 53 per cent. Based on data of the World Tourism Federation in January 2021, it is expected the international tourism services would resume by 40 per cent in 2021 and 60 more per cent in 2022. If COVID-19 could be controlled in full swing in 2023, the tourism industry would reach normalcy in 2024. The World Tourism Federation formed the Global Tourism Crisis Committee which arranges resumption of tourism services. Moreover, the Global Tourism Crisis Committee will cooperate with UNWTO / IATA (International Air Transport Association) in implementing the destination tracker system while drawing the Harmonize Common Guidelines Recommendations on Health and Safety Protocols. According to the data of the Asia-Pacific Tourism Board on arrivals of international tourists in 2021-2023, the number of tourist arrivals to Myanmar will reach 0.5 million to 1.8 million in 2023. But, such situations depend on control of COVID-19 infection and peace and stability of the State. At present, infection of COVID-19 in the third wave was found in some global countries including neighbouring countries, so it needs to take time for resuming the arrival of international tourists. Since its establishment, the State Administration Council prioritizes the resumption of domestic tourism services. In the Thingyan period of 2021, 432,829 local travellers paid visits to destinations in the nation. But, variant COVID-19 infection started in early June. Officials of the Ministry of Health and Sports, volunteers and people should participate in the prevention, control and treatment of the disease. Myanmar needs to implement Agri Tourism, Farming Tourism and Nature-based Tourism to be operated together with agricultural tasks. Myanmar cooperates with ASEAN in drawing ASEAN level policies for recovery of businesses and the Common Health Guidelines, implementing ASEAN Travel Corridor, recognizing Travel Pass and Safely Protocol, and establishing ASEAN Tourism Recovery Fund. Respective region and state administration councils were urged to cooperate in the enhancement of pilot projects for domestic tourism services in a short time. Officials reported on the implementation of the meeting decisions, formation of tourism committees and enhancement of domestic tourism services. Central Committee members Union ministers and deputy minister, the chairman of Nay Pyi Taw Council and officials discussed progress and challenges for the development of tourism sector, restrictions for domestic travel, issuance of entry visa, improvement of transport, laboratory tests, quarantine process and creation of new destinations. Later, the Vice-Senior General urged officials to cooperate in guaranteeing security for the tourists and local people. The Ministry of Health and Sports and relevant businesspersons are to participate in the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic. — MNA Source From: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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