Visit Myanmar Year

   A campaign carried out by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) to bring 500,000 foreign visitors to Burma in 1996-1997. In anticipation of the huge money-making potential of tourism, the SLORC entered into joint ventures with foreign companies to build luxury hotels and establish two new airlines, Air Mandalay and Yangon Airways, to carry tourists between favored destinations, especially Rangoon (Yangon), Mandalay, Pagan (Bagan), and Inle Lake in Shan State. Some old hotels, like the Strand in Rangoon, were completely renovated, and tourist visas were lengthened from 7 to 28 days. However, after her release from house arrest in July 1995, Aung San Suu Kyi urged an international boycott of "Visit Myanmar Year," claiming that tourist revenues would support an illegitimate regime and that the development of many tourist sites, like the moat of Mandalay Palace, involved forced labor and forced relocation. The campaign never reached its goal of half a million visitors (it was closer to 200,000), and Daw Suu Kyi's opposition to international tourism embittered already-delicate relations between her and members of the SLORC.
   See also Sanctions.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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