Tourism revenues on track to surpass US$1 billion this year
Tourism revenues will surpass US$1 billion this year as the number of visitors to the country continues to surge, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism said.
The ministry said it excepts more than 3 million foreign tourists to visit the country this year, up from about 1.05 million in 2012 and about 2.04 million last year.
As of the end of May about 1.2 million tourists had visited Myanmar, the ministry said.
The industry has seen spectacular growth since the government launched its economic reforms three years ago, eclipsing most other industries.
It generated revenues of $534 million in 2012 and $926 million last year. In the first five months of this year it generated revenues of $552 million, putting it on track to easily surpass $1 billion by year-end.
Hotels, travel agencies, transportation services, tour guides, restaurants and souvenir shops are all seeing rapid growth.
Ministry of Hotels and Tourism Htay Aung said that tourism brings in a large amount of foreign currency and that 85 per cent of it flows to citizens.
The industry is also critical because it creates plenty of jobs, he said. Tourism-related jobs could rise from about 300,000 in 2012 to about 1.5 million in 2020, some forecasts say.