THE first two months of this year show at least a seven percent increase over the same period in 2014, itself a record-breaking year. More than 3.05 million tourists arrived in 2014, spending US$1.14 billion, according to official figures. The number of foreign visitors arriving in the first two months of 2015
through the Yangon gatewaty increased to 193,891, up from 180,927 in the first two months of 2014. The increase in tourism has largely been attributed to political and economic reforms undertaken by the government since 2010, with the stage appearing to be set for rapid and continuous growth in the industry.
More than 63pc of visitors in January and February were from Asian countries (122,555), including about 29,455 from Thailand – the largest single group by nationality – followed by China with 16,083, Japan with 15,378 and South Korea with 13,513. The ministry predicts about 5 million tourist arrivals for 2015, and it plans to open up more coastal areas and ethnic regions in addition to the traditionally popular destinations in the centre of the country, such as Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake.