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ASEAN Tourism Forum 2015 Held in Myanmar

ASEAN Tourism Forum 2015 Held in Myanmar

The ASEAN Tourism Forum is a regional strategy to promote the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region as a single tourist destination. This is the first time that the event has been held in Myanmar, and it took place at the Myanmar International Conference Centre in Nay Pyi Taw. The event involves all the tourism industry sectors of the 10 member nations.

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The theme of this year’s 34th ATF was ‘ASEAN – Tourism Towards Peace, Prosperity and Partnership’ and the event was officially opened by the President of the Union of Myanmar, HE. U Thein Sein. The attendance comprised 2,000 delegates from over 50 countries.

Thein Sein the President officially opens ATF 2015.

H.E. U Thein Sein, President of Myanmar, officially opens ATF 2015

Myanmar is known as the Golden Land, and has really only begun to open up as a tourist destination after the doors literally opened up after the political events of 2011. There is now a greater awareness of the benefits that international tourism can bring to this emerging destination. The Ministry of Tourism intends to promote a number of new destinations, including the Myeik Archipelago, Loikaw in Kayah state, and Putao in the north of the country.IMG_1028

Nay Pyi Taw is the administrative capital of Myanmar and is located 391 km from Yangon and 302 km from Mandalay.IMG_6688

More than three million tourists are expected to visit the country in 2015. There has already been spectacular growth in arrivals from 2.04 million in 2013 to 3.08 million in 2014, an increase of 51%.

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Hein Htet Swam and Fransiska Ken Aminto Isti at the ASEAN stand

Myanmar  now offers an e-visa, for which applicants should complete an online visa application  and make payment with a credit card. The average turnaround is five days. The e-visa costs $50 and is valid for 28 days’ travel in the country.

The Hyatt team at ATF.

The Hyatt team at ATF

Kempinski were at ATF having opened their new 5 star property in Nay Pyi Taw.

Kempinski was at ATF, having opened its new 5-star property in Nay Pyi Taw

 

The most impressive attraction in Nay Pyi Taw is the Golden Uppatasani Pagoda.It was opened in 2009 and is a replica of the great Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, it is located on a  hill looking down on the city with a large monastery complex below. The White Elephant house is  located beside the Pagoda.

The White Elephant

The White Elephant

 

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Michael Flood is the Editor of Ireland's leading travel industry publication, Irish Travel Trade News. With more than 35 years experience, he has accumulated an in-depth knowledge of the airline industry and the travel and tourism world.

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