Tourism rules, reg­u­la­tions may be re­leased this month: min­istry

The Myanmar Times - - News - EI EI THU eiei­[email protected]­times.com

THE by­laws set­ting out rules and reg­u­la­tions for the tourism in­dus­try could be re­leased this month, ac­cord­ing to the Ho­tels and Tourism Min­istry.

Un­der the by­law, tourism busi­nesses could directly ap­ply to re­gional tourism com­mit­tees in­stead of the min­istry for li­cences.

Af­ter the Pyi­daungsu Hlut­taw (Lower House) passed the amended Myan­mar Tourism Law in Septem­ber last year, the min­istry was tasked with draft­ing the by­laws in con­sul­ta­tion with stake­hold­ers.

Un­der the new law, there are li­cences for in-bound, out­bound and do­mes­tic des­ti­na­tion tour op­er­a­tors; for ho­tels; for guest houses and na­tional and re­gional tour guides; and for tourism-re­lated ser­vices.

The by­laws stip­u­late that those who want to op­er­ate guest houses can ap­ply for a three-year li­cence from the re­gional tourism com­mit­tee.

“Tourism is a busi­ness that could be held back by too much cen­tral­i­sa­tion. That is why re­gions and states will is­sue li­cences un­der the new law,” U Tint Th­win, a re­tired di­rec­tor gen­eral of the min­istry, said at a meet­ing to dis­cuss the by­law in Yan­gon last week.

Some busi­ness own­ers urged that en­trance fees be charged at the coun­try’s tourist at­trac­tions only in the Myan­mar cur­rency.

“Some sites charge en­trance fees in other cur­ren­cies due to the un­sta­ble ex­change rate, which cre­ates prob­lems for tour op­er­a­tors. If all sites col­lect fees only in the Myan­mar cur­rency, it will help sta­bilise the ex­change rate,” U Maung Maung, ex­ec­u­tive of the Union of Myan­mar Travel As­so­ci­a­tion, said.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Myan­mar Tourist Guide As­so­ci­a­tion urged that the by­law al­low only lo­cal guides to pro­vide tour guide ser­vices, ac­cord­ing to Daw Ei Thu Htut, sec­re­tary gen­eral of the group.

“We have seen a lot of group tours in the coun­try led by for­eign guides in the past sev­eral years. We want to pro­tect our ser­vices with a clear man­date in the new law,” she said.

Photo: Shin Moe Myint

A for­eigner stands out­side the en­trance counter of Bo­tah­taung Pagoda in Yan­gon.

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