Burma is making plans to become more 'tourism friendly' in wake of a massive influx of traveller interest, according to TravelWire Asia.
Although originally an ‘off the beaten track’ destination, Burma has been gaining status as a ‘must see’ recently. It featured on our very own Gap Year hot list for 2012, came fourth in the Top Country category of Wanderlust’s Travel Awards, and was tipped by Telegraph Travel as one of the best places to visit in 2012.
In 2011 the National League for Democracy (NLD), the official the political party of Aung San Suu Kyi, sofened their stance on tourism by issuing some 3,000,000 visas - a 30 per cent increase on the previous year. As a result, Burma is being seen as more accessible in the travel community.
However, the small country has since struggled to cope with the demand from increased tourism – and tours, flights and hotels appear to be operating at full capacity. Development, it seems, is inevitable. New policies are being prepared to ensure foreign businesses like Starbucks and hotel chains are able to start-up franchises more easily.
Kyi Kyi Aye, a consultant to the government’s Burma Tourism Board, said: “We especially need more hotels. We need big chain hotels. Tourism is booming and that means we have many challenges to overcome.”
Last year Burma experienced 300,000 overseas visitors, but it still has a long way to go to catch up with neighbouring Thailand, which received a whopping 19 million visits in 2011.
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