LAUDA AIR AND MYANMAR TOURISM
Myanmar has been also ardently trying to get a strong foothold in ‘ Tourism Industry. " Her age in this field is still in infant stage. In the past colonial days, and after gaining Independence, there were only a few who conducted this kind of business. There was a Mandalay tour (not Tour Mandalay) and Tharyarwaddy Maung Maung Tour, to name a few. At that time tourism was not in vogue yet, and not term as a good income business by everybody in every country.
Welcoming visitors of Lauda Air at Yangon Int'l Air Port
Only after the 20th century did tourism industry starts to change by leaps and bounds. Most of the countries try to make a firm establishment, with deep commitment and strong concentration to change it into a fruitful business. Obviously, it flourished and some countries even survive relying totally on this single tourism income. Myanmar, after 1988, prior to change of economic policy, tourism was shared as a " saviour " for national income and in 1992, September 24 a new Ministry of Hotel and Tourism was born.
For "Tourism Industry", there are many needs to fulfill. Accessibility plays a major role, accommodation and refreshment follows, science, picturesque and interesting places to see, must all be well organize under the tutorship of a keen manager or management board.
Infrastructure counts a lot. Accessibility is the key point to a successful tourism industry. If tourists enter the country with itinerary, moving from place to place must be easy, convenient and comfortable. Entry Visa must be easily attainable. For the tourist, things that are essential and necessary to carry out, they want it to be done promptly without time wasting. So, some of the countries permit entry without visa, while some issue arrival passport the moment they arrive at the border checkpoint or airport or waterway port.
The majority of the tourists prefer traveling by air. So airplane becomes an essential thing for the tourists. To reach from one place to another within a short time, easily and comfortably, airplane is the only means. So, modern airport has to be chosen very carefully, then installing of communication equipments, air-ways, air-routes indicators, navigation, etc, all must be up-to date.
Myanmar has built many airfields, maintaining and upgrading has also been done and is still continuing in doing so. Now, Open Sky Policy was promulgated for aircraft landing.
Myanmar has international flights, such as, Myanmar Airways International, Thai Airways International, Silk Air, Malaysia Airlines, Mandarin Airlines, Air China, India Airlines. Altogether ten airlines are operating, and of these Mandarin Airlines and China- Yunnan Airlines are regular Charter Flight Airlines.
Tourists of Lauda Air at check-in room
Now often, a plane load of tourists would come in with a chartered flight, mostly arranged by local tourism group, then asked a helping hand via Ministry of Hotel and Tourism to other Ministries concerned in keeping their visitors conveniently during their visit. Chartered flights that entered our country from the year 2001, up to this current year were as follows: -
- Quanta’s Charter flight with 220 tourists arrived 22-5-2001 departed 25-5-2001
- Cross Air MD 83 with 65 tourists arrived 3-11-2001 departed 7-11-2001
- PG 9301, 9304 (101) tourists arrived 11-11-2001 departed 17-11-2001
- Lost Cities LC 201,62 tourists, arrived 15-11-2001 departed 17-11-2001
- Austrian Flight Group 59 tourists, arrived 30-12-2001 departed 1-1-2002
- Cross Air 54 tourists arrived 3-3-2002 departed 6-3-2002
- Quanta’s Charter Flight 196 tourists arrived 18-6-2002 departed 20-6-2002
Now, Lauda Air, from Milan, Italy is running the Company’s Charter Flight, started on the 1st of August 2002. For the flight, one of the Co-operative Companies of Myanmar, Myanmar Lotus Asia Tours Co Ltd, has arranged for Lauda Air. The director of the Co is Mr. Giulio Mariani, an Italian. To gain a successful trip, related Ministries and its respective officials has given necessary help. Lauda Air is trying to fly regularly as a chartered flight. They will be flying, every Thursday, weekly and they have visited five times already. Their route is from Milan, Italy straight to Yangon, then to Phuket, Thailand.
Most of the visitors
stayed for about a week and toured the country either by
air or by train or motorcars. They visited Mandalay, Bagan,
Poppa, Inlay, Pyay, Magwe. Most of the tourists were " new
comers "; they’ve never been to Myanmar before. Some have
been here twice or thrice, some even exceeded that limit,
that is seventh time tourists were included in the group. Some even
took meditation at the Mahasi Meditation Center during their
trip. When interviewed, they admitted that they were not
Buddhist, but practically experimenting the Buddha’s ways
and found peace and tranquility through these practices. They
were not satisfied for taking within a short length of time,
and aimed to come over again and take prolonged meditation.
Tourists who arrived by Lauda Air were as follows: -
- 1st August 91 heads.
- 8 th August 68 heads
- 15th August 43 heads
- 22nd August 63 heads
- 29th August 4 heads
- Total 269 heads. All of them stayed in Myanmar for 8 days seven nights.