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SAC Member DPM MoHA Union Minister attends National Tourism Development Central Committee 1/2023 meeting

STATE Administration Council Member Deputy Prime Minister Union Minister for Home Affairs Lt-Gen Soe Htut, who is also Chairman of the National Tourism Development Central Committee, attended the 1/2023 meeting of the committee in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. First, the Deputy Prime Minister said the meetings of the central committee should be held twice a year at least according to Section 13 of Chapter 5 of the Myanmar Tourism Rule. Currently, the COVID-19 disease is under control and so it is accelerating the tourism development programmes. Moreover, the meeting should discuss the proper preparations before the coming open season. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, international airlines were suspended in 2020 and 2021 and Myanmar’s tourism industry was also totally suspended for travel restrictions like other world countries. Before 2019, there were 4.36 million travellers to the country but there were only 900,000 in 2020 and over 100,000 in 2021. International flight services were resumed in April 2022 and allowed tourists to enter the country as per the COVID-19 health rules and there were over 0.23 million travellers in 2022. As the digits are lower than the tourist numbers to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam, it highlights the need to make efforts for the development of the tourism industry like the neighbouring countries. The country should ease certain regulations, for example, e-Visa and offer incentives like special discounts for tourists and Tax Refund, and adopt an effective advertising system via online platforms and online marketing. He also highlighted the currency exchange rate as per the policy, consideration to use Master Card and Visa Card, and it is necessary to organize tourism expos and trade shows in local and foreign countries for international media awareness and cooperate with agencies for international markets. He then stressed the need to ensure safety, the main fact of the tourism industry. Then, Union Minister for Hotels and Tourism U Aung Thaw, who is also Vice-Chair of the committee, reported on tourism-related matters. Next, the joint secretary of the committee director-general of the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism presented the implementation of decisions set at the 2/2022 committee meeting, the reshuffle of the tourism working committee, six region and state tourism working committees and conditions to ease licence application. The Union ministers, the Nay Pyi Taw Council chairman, the Region and State chief ministers, deputy ministers, tourism experts, representatives of private tourism organizations and relevant officials coordinated the discussion and the Deputy Prime Minister concluded the meeting. — MNA/KTZH Source From: The Global New Light of Myanmar