Myanmar has mapped out a three-phase plan to reinvigorate its tourism industry, including fiscal aid for businesses, implementation of health and safety protocols, and looking to domestic travel to drive initial recovery.
The announcement was made by H.E. U Ohn Maung, union minister of Ministry of Hotels and Tourism (MOHT), on Tuesday. The ministry has been working on the post-Covid recovery plan since April.
In the first “Survival” phase, financial aid will be provided to hotels and tourism businesses, in the form of tax relaxation, reduction of license fees, deferment of rent payment, and loan provision.
As well, MOHT will conduct more online training for tourism professionals and staff, discussing travel destinations and tourism market assessments.
Under phase two of “Reopening”, which will take place in June, July and August, businesses will have to observe a set of SOPs for the health and safety of travellers and staff. Focus will be placed on promoting domestic travel, as local travel destinations reopen in June.
Pagodas, museums and parks will also be reopened, in accordance with the national guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports.
Phase three will focus on “Re-launching”, and will be implemented within six months to a year. The phase will see the rolling out of new marketing campaigns and long-term plans to reinvent Myanmar’s tourism.
Furthermore, when the country reopens, the government plans to create “travel bubbles” through bilateral agreements with Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
The government has announced extension of entry restrictions for travellers from all countries until June 15, 2020. However, Yangon International airport terminal remains operational for all domestic flights and special relief flights.
Myanmar Tourism Marketing is working with MOHT and other travel associations to launch a domestic tourism campaign, said May Myat Mon Win, Myanmar Tourism Marketing chairperson. Once pandemic eases, she added, they will target regional markets, followed by longhaul destinations.