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Fears for Myanmar tourism due to flooding


A group of western tourists visit on the platform of the Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: Nyein Chan Naing/EPA

Recent flooding in Myanmar has destroyed great swathes of farmland and images of damage and despair, seen all over the world, may affect tourist arrival numbers, according to tourism officials reported Channel News Asia on 12 August.

But they said the flooding has not affected key tourist spots and are hoping for a boost with the upcoming elections.

To counter the negative effect of the flood images, the Myanmar Tourism Federation is sending its members out in to the flood-hit areas to gather reliable, first-hand information.

This year, Myanmar hopes to attract five million visitors and while the floods may negatively impact tourist arrivals, officials hoped that the numbers may be boosted towards year-end as some of the country's five million overseas nationals return for the November general election.

So far the floods have not affected key tourist spots like the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, and other cultural heritage sites such as Bagan and Inle Lake. 

In fact, the tourism ministry issued a statement assuring visitors that Myanmar is safe for travellers and urging visitors to continue to come to the country.

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