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Myanmar tourism growth stalls in first half of 2018

Tanutam Thawan

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Myanmar tourism growth stalls in first half of 2018 | The Thaiger
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Myanmar has seen a slight contraction in tourist number during the first half of t2018. Tourist arrivals still reached 1,722,049 visits, a drop of 2%, according to the latest update by Hotel and Tourism Ministry.

Thai tourists remain the top source market but China is catching up. Other tourists are coming from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, India, Vietnam and Malaysia. Malaysians still need to apply for a visa, the only remaining ASEAN nation that has not been awarded visa-free status for travel in Myanmar.

From November to March, Europe’s winter months, Europeans remain a major source of tourists but the continuing Rohingya crisis is said to be restricting growth in this market following October 2016.

According to the ministry’s half-year update air passenger arrivals reached 651,986 at the three international airports in Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw (the capital). 682,100 visitors entered the country on visas, while another 1,039,949 were border pass travellers.

Myanmar tourism officials are expecting to reach 7 million visitors by 2020. Last year the figure reached 3,443,133 tourists, an increase of 18%.

Myanmar has 1,666 licensed hotels with 66,913 rooms up by over 510 over the past three years.

Yangon has the largest number with 399 hotels, followed by Mandalay with 215, Taunggyi/Inlay with 148 (4,483 rooms) and Bagan/Nyaung with 85 (2,919 rooms).

Out of the 14 states and regions in Myanmar, Yangon Region, Mandalay Region and Shan State attract the most international tourists.

Myanmar tourism growth stalls in first half of 2018 | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism

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Thailand

Migrant workers risk losing their legal status, the Cabinet to extend work permit amnesty

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Migrant workers risk losing their legal status, the Cabinet to extend work permit amnesty | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Frontier Myanmar

Over 1.7 million migrant workers in Thailand are going to lose their legal working status because they can’t submit work permit renewal and a health certificate with Covid-19 test results in time. The Labour Ministry then proposes the cabinet will extend the registration period (amnesty) for migrant workers to help maintain their legal status. Migrant workers, including those illegal and unemployed workers, are required to register with authorities via the ministry’s website from January 15 until February 13.

According to the Labour Minister, every migrant worker to renew their work permit must receive a Covid-19 test at hospitals designated by the Public Health Ministry. The Department of Medical Sciences will be responsible for the testing costs.

Illegal and unemployed workers, who registered with the Ministry, will be allowed to stay in the Kingdom for 2 years without penalties. Only those migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar are allowed to overstay their current visas, but are required to register with the provincial employment office in the area they work, as part of the amnesty.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Myanmar cancels Thai investment in the Dawei Special Economic Zone

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Myanmar cancels Thai investment in the Dawei Special Economic Zone | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Environment Justice Atlas

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee has announced the cancellation on the deep seaport project contract with Italian-Thai Development (ITD), one of Thailand’s leading industrial firms, by saying that they “lost confidence” in the company after long, controversial issues.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee said that the Thai company has caused them “repeated delays, continuing breaches of financial obligations under the contracts and the concessionaires’ failure to confirm their financial capacity to proceed with development”.

They say they will look for new development partners to continue the projects. Currently, there are still no comments from ITD.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone is Myanmar’s initiative to encourage international investments into the country, but the project has been delayed because of funding problems and local opposition.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Indonesia

UPDATE: At least 34 dead and 600 injured after Indonesia earthquake

Caitlin Ashworth

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UPDATE: At least 34 dead and 600 injured after Indonesia earthquake | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Soumyajit Pattnaik via Twitter

UPDATE: At least 34 people were killed after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake shook Indonesia’s Sulawesi island just after midnight today. As of this evening, reports say more than 600 people were injured during the earthquake which caused buildings to collapse and residents to flee their homes in the dark.

Original story below…

Indonesian island Sulawesi was shook by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake shortly after midnight today, toppling over buildings and injuring hundreds. Reports are continuously being updated as rescuers search through rubble. As of early this afternoon, at least 10 people were killed.

Thousands evacuated their homes in West Sulawesi. The earthquake impacted the coastal city Majene where at least 3 people died and neighbouring Mamuju where at least 7 people died. Several buildings, including hotels, were severely damaged and many homes were flattened. A hospital was partially damaged and reports say more than a dozen patients and staff were trapped under the rubble. Others are trapped in rubble after their homes collapsed. A rescuer says “We are racing against time to rescue them.”

Videos have been released of those crying for help. A father crying, calling out for help to save his children under their home’s wreckage. In another, a girl’s voice cried out from a collapsed home, saying “please help me, it hurts.” The video was released by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. Rescuers say they need an excavator to say the girl and other people who are trapped under the collapsed buildings.

The area was first hit by a 5.9 magnitude undersea quake on Thursday. It damaged several buildings, but no deaths were reported.

Since the most recent earthquake is inland, the district’s disaster agency chief says it does not have the potential to cause a tsunami, but people in coastal areas ran to higher ground just to be safe.

The vast archipelago is located on the “Ring of Fire” of volcanoes and fault lines, prone to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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