Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism is keen to reassure travellers that Bagan, a cultural heritage hotspot and tourism destination, is once again safe and open for business.
The area was rocked by an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale on August 24. The tremor killed four people and damaged many buildings.
TTR Weekly reported that Bagan welcomed 160,000 visitors, January to August, an increase of 8% over the same period last year.
Bagan’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism director, Than Htut Khine, told local media that the recent earthquake damaged pagodas and ancient structures but not its tourist industry.
“This year, we expect 300,000 visitors travel to Bagan,” he said.
Bagan welcomed about 250,000 tourists in 2015 and it expects arrivals to the ancient city could reach 500,000 by 2018.
Irrawaddy media quoted Myanmar Tourism Federation vice chairman, Aung Myat Kyaw, saying: “After the earthquake, we were worried about the old temples in Bagan, and concerned about the impact on tourism—but, amazingly, we’ve received many inquiries from tourists about Bagan tours following the earthquake.”
The Ministry of Religion and Culture, Department of Archaeology, Museums and Libraries and experts from UNESCO, have joined forces to repair the quake-hit pagodas.
The Ministry said it was working with the Japan International Cooperation Agency for the safety of travellers.