A Myanmar tourism industry body’s grand schemes for promoting and developing the sector have proved out of sync with the government’s squeezed coffers and priorities, reports The Myanmar Times.
The Myanmar Tourism Marketing Committee’s request for US$30 million has been shot down, with the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism pointing out that the proposed amount is ten times the size of its annual budget of $300,000.
The Committee had requested $30 million for the next three years, U Myint Htwe, Director of the Tourism Ministry, said.
In order to develop the country, the government must first prioritise education and health, and resources at the moment cannot favour the tourism sector, the Director added.
But some industry figures say investment in the sector is sorely needed – particularly when it comes to international travel expos and general industry development.
“We submitted for $30 million for the coming three years for tourism promotion because the benefit on return is very high if we did invest these amounts,” said Myanmar Tourism Federation’s U Kyaw Min Htin.
However, the Ministry of Planning and Finance said that the numbers didn’t stack up when it comes to the proportion of tax income supplied by the tourism industry at present.