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Myanmar : Delight for travellers



This is Burma and it is unlike any land you know about – wrote by Rudyard Kipling. Today after over a century after he wrote this quote, Myanmar retains the power to surprise and delight the travellers. Myanmar was known as Burma prior to 1989; the name was changed during the Military rule. In the year 2015, Myanmar got its first Democratic governor in more than half a sanctuary.

Myanmar consists of over 100 ethnic groups bordering India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. Yangon (Formerly known as Rangoon) is the country’s largest city and home to bustling markets, numerous parks, lakes and the gilded Shwedagon Pagoda which contains Buddhist relics and dates to the 6th century.

Myanmar today

Once the democratic government took charge of the country, the country has seen international investors interested to do business in Myanmar. Myanmar has also seen social and economic changes since the new government took over. Modern travel conveniences such as mobile phone coverage with internet access, domestic flights connecting tourist places, modern hotels are now getting common. The new Myanmar is very much a work in progress country.

Old World Charm of Myanmar

Myanmar consists of multiple ethnic groups and even today Myanmar does remain a rural nation of traditional values. Local men will be seen wearing a Longyi – like a sarong and chewing betel nut and spitting the red juice on the ground, women are seen with faces covered with thanakha (a natural sunblock) and cheroot-smoking ladies. Drinking tea is very common and tea houses serving traditional savouries and tea are seen all over the place.

Myanmar – is rich with over 2,600 years of Buddhist civilization and posses many golden treasures across the country. Myanmar offers different travel option for different travellers from a rich cultural and historical experience with golden temples and pagodas in Yangon and Mandalay to vestiges of Bagan or a spectacular sunrise & sunset in Bagan or Mandalay.

Temples of Myanmar are distinct in design and patterns and temples or relics combine with spectacular surrounding scenery will leave an unforgettable impression of the rich and spiritual life leads by the locals.

Inle Lake offers extraordinary leisure along with a rich insight of local life and floating villages, floating gardens and markets. The Inle Lake also connects to some of the famous trekking routes or one can Drift down the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River in an old steamer or luxury cruiser or visit a beach on the blissful Bay of Bengal. Trek through pine forests to minority villages scattered across the Shan Hills offer a true glimpse of the local life of the Myanmar villages.

Thankfully, the pace of change is not overwhelming and has left the simple pleasures of travel in Myanmar intact. Best of all, you’ll encounter locals who are gentle, humorous, inquisitive and passionate. Now is the time to make that connection.

Jay Kantawala from WIYO Travel visited Myanmar in May / June 18 and felt that people are by far the best part of Burma; he was welcomed with smiles and kindness everywhere he visited. Now is the best time to travel to Myanmar as the new democratic government is working hard to improve the country’s image and uplift tourism. Myanmar today remains one of the world’s mysterious and untouched destinations.


Hawaii tourism hit due to Kilauea eruption



Los Angeles, Aug 5 : The cumulative expenditure loss to the tourism of the Big Island of Hawaii inflicted by the eruption of the Kilauea volcano may reach approximately $200 million, a study has found.

“The Big Island may have already lost 38,000 potential visitors and around $50 million in potential tourism expenditure in May and June,” said Mark Kimura, faculty member of the Department of Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Hawaii.

“Besides the loss of tourists’ expenditures, there is usually a ‘ripple effect’ among tourism-related businesses, such as the impact on local workers in the industry and sales of indigenous goods,” he added.

According to George Szigeti, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, “Hawaii’s tourism industry has done extremely well in the first half of 2018 in all key categories.”

Kilauea, one of the youngest and most active volcanoes in the world, has been erupting continuously since early May, which has prompted closure of two-thirds of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in the Big Island.


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Sale of BS-VI non-compliant vehicles should stop from 2020, Centre tells SC



Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) In major step to curb vehicular pollution, the Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that sale and manufacture of BS-VI non-compliant vehicles in India should not be allowed from April 1, 2020.

A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta was informed by the Centre that sale and manufacture of BS (Bharat stage)-VI non-compliant vehicles from April 1, 2020, would have an adverse effect since the investment of around Rs 28,000 crore has already been made for having a cleaner BS-VI fuel.

The government said if BS-VI fuel is used in BS-IV vehicles, the environmental benefit of having a cleaner fuel would become marginal and after March 31, 2020, the sale of non-compliant BS-VI vehicles should not be allowed.

The Centre further said it will prevent registration of BS-IV compliant automobiles built before April 1, 2020 beyond June 30, 2020.

The government’s response came during the hearing of the petition which has raised the issue of air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

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Where is Overtourism Leading Our Holiday Destinations to?



travel packages

When the rigours of daily life and the grind get too strenuous, nothing relaxes your mind, body and spirit like the perfect vacation, right? You can choose to soak up the sun and the sea on a beach, be one with nature in the hills and perhaps just indulge your senses at a historical destination.

Except when you arrive at your dream destination, it turns out to be a nightmare. It’s crowded beyond expectations, and the destination only compounds everything you hate about city life. It’s far from paradise. It has turned into an over-commercialized and overpopulated version of the place you loved. This is a disaster, a holiday-goers worst nightmare come true.

By Jay Kantawala, Founder of WIYO Travel said, “The tourism industry has grown at an exponential rate. So much so, that a lot more people are travelling now than they once used to. The emerging middle class has the means and the ability to visit more places now than ever before. And this has given rise to a very real fear dubbed ‘overtourism’.

The term ‘overtourism’ was coined last year and denotes the phase when far too many tourists travel to a destination. While primarily used in a negative context, there are two sides to the concept of overtourism. Let’s look at both the pros and cons of this phenomenon.

With more tourism, there are more opportunities for employment. It allows the people of any locality to earn a better living. Moreover, with more visitors, the economy of the destination benefits leading to better infrastructure and a better standard of living for residents. Ultimately, well-travelled tourists are found to be better adjusted and knowledgeable about the culture of various places. This eventually leads to a peaceful and harmonious world.

But then again, ‘overtourism’ also has its detriments. Residents in Barcelona and Venice have actually organized protests and made graffiti urging tourists return from whence they arrived. This is because overtourism can have an adverse effect in terms of jammed roads, littering, destruction of the ecology of the tourist destination and much more.

So how does one strike a balance between the pros and cons of this phenomenon? The change needs to stem from the tourist himself, who needs to make a very positive difference. While passing through a destination, he/she needs to be responsible so as to not cause an adverse effect on the destination, on the environment and on the residents of the place.

‘Overtourism’ was added to the dictionary when it became a problem for those affected by its menace. Perhaps in the times that follow, ‘responsible tourism’ or ‘sustainable tourism’ will be added to the dictionary as well.

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