Mawlamyine, 28 October

The military regime has put pressure on the hoteliers to increase the number of visitor arrivals and develop new tourist destinations ahead of the upcoming open season in Mon State.

The State Council, led by Mon State Chief Minister U Aung Kyi Thein, has been meeting with hotel and tourism businessmen frequently since the last few months to push for efforts to develop the tourism sector and to portray that the area is peaceful and crowded with people.

A tourist guide said, “The military council is pushing to develop the tourism sector, but due to security and curfew restrictions, the tourism sector cannot be developed.”

In addition, he added, the tourism sector will not improve as expected due to strict checks by the military council, causing travel delays and extortion at checkpoints.

Currently, the military council is making efforts to use different approaches to draw huge crowds to Mon State’s famous Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda Festival and Kyaikkami Pagoda Festival.

According to a hotelier, the military council’s purpose to increase tourist arrivals would not be successful because there is still no stability or safety in most regions of Mon State, particularly in Ye, Kyaikmaraw, Kyaikto, and Belin.

On the other hand, the military council has ordered officials to reopen hotels and tourism businesses, to renovate historic pagoda buildings and caves to make them attractive, and to hold festivals and funfairs in neighborhoods and villages in order to draw huge crowds in Mon State.

However, frequent gunfire occurred in Mon State’s Kyaikto, Thaton, Belin, Paung and Kyaikmaraw, and Ye Township which has been placed under martial law.

The Mon State’s tourism sector, known as the Smokeless Industry, is in crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the military coup, and the majority of the tourism industry is struggling to recover.

Mon State, which drew around three million domestic and foreign tourists annually before the coup, has seen a dramatic drop in tourist arrivals after the military coup.

News- Than Lwin Times

Photo- TLT

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