Tourism growing to 'reopened' Burma

25th Jan 2013

The number of foreign visitors going to Burma topped one million last year, with one travel blogger saying its people are "eager to share their culture" with holidaymakers.

The surge in visitor numbers has also seen Burma's income from tourism jump from £201 million in 2011 to £336 million last year. And officials say they are hoping for further 15% growth in visitor numbers this year.

Just over 4% of last year's international visitors to Burma - also known as Myanmar - were from the UK, many of them enjoying specialist tours, with slightly over 6% from the US.

Wanderlust travel blogger Kellie Netherwood said visitors to Burma would be welcomed "by people who are proud of a culture they are keen to share with you, who are equally curious about your lifestyle and country".

Having visited dozens of countries around the world, she said Burma was one of her favourite travel destinations.

The rise in tourist numbers has been linked to the 2010 release of pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi and the end of the tourism boycott.

U Phyo Wai Yar Zar, vice chairman of the Myanmar Tourism Board, said 2012 had been an "outstanding year" for the country's tourist industry.

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