BAGAN, 8 September 2016: Bagan welcomed 160,000 visitors, January to August, an increase of 8% over the same period last year.
Bagan’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism director, Than Htut Khine, told local media that the recent earthquake damaged pagodas and ancient structures but not its tourist industry.
“This year, we expect 300,000 visitors travel to Bagan,” he said.
Irrawaddy media quoted Myanmar Tourism Federation vice chairman, Aung Myat Kyaw, saying: “After the earthquake, we were worried about the old temples in Bagan, and concerned about the impact on tourism—but, amazingly, we’ve received many inquiries from tourists about Bagan tours following the earthquake.”
The Ministry of Religion and Culture, Department of Archaeology, Museums and Libraries and experts from UNESCO, have joined forces to repair the quake-hit pagodas.
According to the department official figures, 397 pagodas and temples were damaged by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake when it hit the central Myanmar, 25 August.
Four people died and close to 400 of the 2,200 pagodas, temples, monasteries and other structures in the historical park were damaged.
Bagan is an ancient city located in Mandalay Region, built between the 9th and 11th centuries, during an era when some 55 Buddhist kings ruled the Bagan Dynasty.
Myanmar’s branch of the World Heritage Site Committee plans to nominate the Bagan Archaeological Zone for UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2017 for consideration at the agency’s annual convention in 2019.