Almost 16,000 tourists visited Rakhine State over this year’s Thingyan holiday period, according to the junta’s Rakhine State Hotels and Tourism Department.
The military and the Arakan Army (AA) had hosted competing Rakhine Thingyan celebrations in the state; festivals have been sparse in preceding years due to conflict, COVID-19, and the coup.
Of these figures, only a few hundred tourists were foreigners, according to Moe Aung, deputy director of the Rakhine State Department of Hotels and Tourism.
“The most visited city was Thandwe, Ngapali, receiving 6,686 local visitors and 239 foreigners; followed by Sittwe which received 5,290 domestic tourists and 21 foreigners. Mrauk-U and Kyaukphyu were also popular with tourists,” he told DVB.
According to hoteliers, most domestic arrivals had travelled from Yangon or Mandalay. Hotel workers in both Rakhine and Ayeyarwady Region say that guest houses and hotels had been booked out since early April.
For the festivities themselves, the junta established a stage in the capital of Sittwe, whilst the AA organized its own celebrations near the Ze Chaung Dam in Kyauktaw township and in Mrauk-U, Rakhine’s historical center.
Unlike elsewhere in Burma, hundreds of thousands of people are reported to have participated in the festivals.