BAGAN, 24 March 2017: Bagan Tourism Development and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are working on a new tourist map of Bagan.
Myanmar Times media quoted Bagan Tourism Development assistant project manager, Daw Yu Yu Lin, saying the map would make it easier for visitors to explore the heritage destinations.
“The guide map will also highlight some not-so-well-known pagodas where visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery and history of Bagan.”
However, the authorities have not set a launch date for the new map, but it is likely to b scheduled for the start of the peak season in October.
Critics suggest the funds should have been spent on improving smartphone compatible Apps that have maps and pin points to the main attractions, with live links to hotels and restaurants.
Printed maps are losing their appeal with tourists as they are often outdated and packed with advertising, or sponsor highlights that are not relevant. In contrast, smartphones contain detailed maps with easy directions on moving around including getting back to the hotel by the shortest route. Also restaurants and hotels in close proximity to the smartphone user can send them a message detailing their dining or stay options.
But in defense of the printed map, some visitors are not smartphone savvy or decide to turn off their devices to avoid phone costs.
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 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.
Bagan welcomed about 250,000 tourists in 2015 and it is expects visits to the ancient city could reach 500,000 by 2018.
The ancient pagodas were severely damaged during an earthquake last August.
The one that hit the region 24 August, last year, damaged 258 famous temples, 104 pagodas and 13 brick monasteries.
According to the restoration plan, major restoration work on 89 quake-damaged pagodas and Buddhist temples in Bagan started in January.
In the first phase, the work will focus on 36 pagodas including Bagan’s well-known Sulamani and Ananda temples.
Restoration of 53 other important monuments will take place in the second stage.
The entire project will take five years and will require fund raising from the private sector.
See the new Bagan guide map full report visit http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/mandalay-upper-myanmar/25329-new-bagan-guide-map-in-the-works.html.