Ele­phant camp aims to boost tourism in Magwe

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - NAY AUNG [email protected]­times.com

The Magwe re­gional gov­ern­ment is con­struct­ing an ele­phant camp near a pop­u­lar pagoda in an ef­fort to boost sus­tain­able tourism and peo­ple’s in­comes in the area.

A CON­SER­VA­TION-based ele­phant tourism pro­ject will be set up near Mann Shwe Set Taw (The Golden Foot­prints) pagoda in Magwe Re­gion, U Myint Zaw, re­gional min­is­ter of Re­sources, En­vi­ron­ment, Elec­tric­ity and En­ergy, said.

The camp, the first of its kind in Magwe, is ten­ta­tively set to open by Feb­ru­ary 13, in con­junc­tion with the Mann Shwe Set Taw pagoda fes­ti­val, U Myint Zaw said.

“We’re build­ing it with the re­gion’s money af­ter ob­tain­ing per­mis­sion from the Myan­mar gov­ern­ment. We hope to have it run­ning in time for the fes­ti­val,” he said.

Mann Creek will run through part of the ele­phant camp, which is be­ing built near Than­pa­yar Gai vil­lage on the road to the pagoda.

It will be built on an es­ti­mated 48.5 hectares of land, U Myint Sein, head of Magwe’s Ho­tels and Tourism Depart­ment, said.

“We will plant peren­nial plants and hard­wood trees on 24 hectares in the camp, and we will ne­go­ti­ate for 283 hectares of land out­side of Padaung-Pyawbwe re­serve for use as pas­ture,” U Myint Sein said.

The gov­ern­ment is try­ing to de­velop na­ture-based tourism to boost the area’s econ­omy, said U Myint Zaw.

“If we can of­fer tourists a unique ex­pe­ri­ence com­bin­ing cul­ture, na­ture and ele­phants, this area could be­come fa­mous through­out the coun­try,” U Myint Sein said.

Magwe has 204 ele­phants used in log­ging, and the gov­ern­ment ex­pects good re­sults from the pro­ject as ac­tiv­ity slows in the in­dus­try.

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