Travel Sector Updates

The number of foreign visitors to the Shwedagon pagoda dropped by 30,000


The number of foreign visitors to the Shwedgon Pagoda, the most famous pagoda in Myanmar, dropped by nearly 30,000 in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to data released by the Trustee Committee.          

There were 615,763 visitors to the pagoda in 2017 while 2016 saw 646,734 foreign visitors.

It is perhaps due to the conflict which happened in Rakhine State in August and September and correlates to the decrease in the number of visitors to Myanmar around the time, according to the sources in tourism industry.        

 ‘‘Almost every visitor to Myanmar visits the Shwedagon Pagoda—some complain about the rise in the entrance fee but some don’t.

We try to explain our best. We thought the number of foreign visitors to the Shwedagon Pagoda would be higher and higher only to be surprised to hear about the drop,’’ a Thai-language tour guide said.

Thai visitors accounted for the highest number of visitors to the Shwedagon followed by Chinese visitors.

October, November, December, January, February and March see more visitors than other months as they are the dry season when most foreign visitors come to Myanmar.

The trustees of the pagoda raised the entrance fee from K8,000 to K10,000 late last year. Meanwhile the Ministry of Religious and Cultural affairs is trying to get the pagoda onto UNESCO’s world heritage list.

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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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