5. March 2012 13:38
With the gradual easing of political tensions in Myanmar, the southeast Asian nation is experiencing increased tourism, leading to new challenges for the country’s tourism and hospitality infrastructure. “With the change in attitude of the government, there’s a pent-up demand that’s been released,” says Myths and Mountains President Toni Neubauer. “This is a country that is going to change absolutely, and rapidly.”
Due to its political isolation, Myanmar has maintained a variety of cultures and traditions essentially free from outside influence. The country’s cultural and natural diversity are strong draws for travelers, as are its impressive archaeological sites such as Bagan.
“Culturally, Myanmar is one of the richest countries in southeast Asia. It’s the fourth-largest country in the region and has lots of resources, including gems and oil. It has a varying topography, stretching from the coast to the Himalayan foothills,” Neubauer says. “It’s also a country that has two Wednesdays, a currency that’s based on the number nine, and where people kiss by rubbing noses.”
With so much to offer, the tourism industry in Myanmar is sure to develop at a rapid pace now that political tensions have eased somewhat, although it’s impossible to predict whether the country will continue along the road toward greater global integration, or whether the government will ultimately revert back to its isolationist tendencies.
One thing is certain, however: Travelers are flocking to Myanmar these days, so anyone who wants to see the country before it changes should visit soon. But with the country’s infrastructure so stretched, it’s important to allow extra time to make arrangements. Neubauer advises travelers to plan well in advance in order to ensure that they can experience everything that this amazing country has to offer. Contact Myths and Mountains for more information.