£320m plan places Burma on tourists' radar

10th Jun 2013

Burma's tourism chiefs have announced a £320 million master plan to attract visitors to a country that for years was thought off limits.

The republic's natural beauty, stunning beaches, warm climate and myriad cultural sites, including many enchanting temples, have long given it all the ingredients holidaymakers look for on group tours.

Ngwe Saung and Ngapali, dotted with coconut palms, are among the most breathtaking beaches in all Asia, while Mandalay, Bagan and Yangon are all "must-see" destinations.

The latter includes the Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the wonders of the world, which towers 326ft (100 metres) above the city and is one of the most famous pagodas on the whole continent.

The master plan initiative, including 38 development schemes, aims to capitalise on all these natural resources and hopes to make tourism a "pillar" of the Burmese economy.

The focus will be to grow international arrivals into Burma's airports at Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, to improve the Bagan river pier so that more cruises can happen and to build main roads into popular destinations such as Inle Lake and Ngapali beach.

Burma received a record number of tourists last year, welcoming more than a million visitors, with half a million arriving by plane.

This figure to expected to increase to as high as 7.5 million by 2020, providing up to 1.4 million jobs.

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