YANGON, 4 August 2021: THE Union Minister for Hotels and Tourism U Maung Maung Ohn, appointed by the military junta last February, moves to the post of information minister, according to a report this week in Frontier Myanmar.
He was arguably the most unpopular tourism minister of all time, ignored or boycotted by the entire tourism and hospitality industry since his appointment shortly after the 1 February military coup.
The ministry’s Facebook pages, once busy with promotions and tourism events, has featured just four posts since the military coup, mostly promotional destination articles, made redundant by the political crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.
U Maung Maung Ohn’s last recorded public appearance in his capacity of tourism minister was on 29 June when he attended the National Tourism Development Central Committee’s first meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, according to the military-controlled media.
In a nutshell, he told the audience he intended to “reopen hotels and tourism, revive domestic tourism and resume inbound tourism.”
According to the official Global New Light of Myanmar report, plans were underway to develop pilot projects between the government and the private sector to resume inbound tourism by inviting the Chinese, Thai and Korean tourists.
Apparently, he was unaware that China’s outbound tourism doors are firmly shut and unlikely to reopen for even group tours until mid-2022 at the earliest.
Myanmar’s military coup leaders named the retired general, U Maung Maung Ohn, as the Minister of Hotels and Tourism, on 7 February, just a week after the junta seized power from the elected government.
A reliable source in Yangon at the time said tourism and hospitality business leaders silently boycotted the minister by “not answering calls to attend ministry meetings.
A career army general, U Maung Maung Ohn was the Chief Minister of Rakhine State, Myanmar, from 2014 to 2016, and former Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.
Meanwhile, the junta’s health ministry reported 13,332 new COVID-19 cases over the past three days. During the same period, officials confirmed 1,179 more deaths, bringing the toll to 9,731. There are approximately 400 deaths per day.
(Source: Frontier Myanmar)