Airlines ready as Burma travel booms

Outbound travel surges to Thailand and elsewhere in Asia

As it gradually opens up to the outside world, Burma – officially known as Myanmar – is experiencing an outbound as well as incoming travel surge. Travel agents based in the country report a surge in outbound travel among Burmese nationals.
“The outbound tourism market is really booming,” says U Hein Thant from Sun Far Travel and Tours in Yangon. Most are flying on business, leisure, shopping and medical trips to destinations in Thailand, such as Bangkok, Chang Mai and Phuket. Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia are seeing many more travellers from Myanmar.
As a result airlines are waiting to launch services to Burma. Air Asia, for example, is “very keen” to start its own routes from both Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, suggesting that Mandalay and Bagan may be destinations.
[pictured: Panorama of temples, Bagan]