Travel Sector Updates

Foreign travellers to be likely granted permission back soon to visit Mogok

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Photo - Phyo Thiha

Foreign travellers will likely be granted permission back to visit the world famous town of Mogok, also known as Ruby Land, in Mandalay Region as the authorities concerned are thoroughly working on granting permission to foreign travellers to visit the destination where has been restricted for foreign travellers for about two years.

As suggestions on granting foreign travellers permit to visit the place were raised soon after the 800th anniversary festival of establishing Mogok, the Mandalay Region Government submitted a report on the suggestions to the Union Government.

According to an official from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, the Union Government sent a letter to the ministry giving a directive saying that applications for travel schedule to the town submitted to the ministry would be handled one by one to grant a permit.

 

“Regarding the travel schedule to the town, we recently sent a memo to Mandalay Region Government with a suggestion to coordinate on the security related matters and asked for their reply. According to the paper work practice, it might take two or three weeks to receive the reply. We all are working on this matter systematically and thoroughly. The relevant regional government is to make a procedure for such travel route inclusive of security practice. The main thing all are coordinating is to have a suitable, smooth travel schedule for travelers/travel agencies.

When coordination done for a decision, we will send a relevant message to travel companies to control this travel systematically,” said U Khin Maung Soe, director of internal and external relations division of Department of Hotels and Tourism.

It is also learnt that any message about this travel had not been sent yet to travel companies.

Mogok is well known as a place for world’s best ruby producing business as well as Mogok Vipassana meditation method, and these things are much attractive to the travellers. Besides, there are many curves and steep slopes on the route to the town and that will also be interesting for some who love adventurous travel.

Being in a response to the possible procedure to grant foreigners permission to visit Mogok, a local resident of the town said,” The local travellers to our town are in a very small amount. The foreigne travellers are hardly seen here because of the restriction. We just saw some diplomatic staff coming here. Travel-related busness is not working here as expected and people rely on the gems business. But currently, the gems businesses are not going quite well here in the area. Therefore, if we have local and foreign travellers, I believe that restaurants, gem market and etc will be back to regular business.”  

Daw Khin Ohn Myint who is also a Mogok resident said she was of the opinion that Mogok also had a gems market (called Htapwe in the local dialect) which may be of interest to foreign travellers on business and leisure trips.
 

According to some locals in Mogok, if the permission is granted to foreign travellers back, there might be a need to have adequate number of hotel/motel rooms in Mogok as the town has now such a small number of quality hotels because of a lack of demand.

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Theingi Htun is a journalist who worked for two years at Yangon Times Journal and Flower News. She also worked for two years at Democracy Today News as Senior Journalist. She wrote many articles about culture, the travel sector and lifestyle stories too. Now she is working at My Magical Myanmar as a travel writer and social media executive."

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