|Bagan remains the jewel in the crown of tourism attractions in Myanmar. Tourists visit a temple in Bagan. Photo: Mizzima|
Bagan has been pushed to second place by Luang Prabang in this year’s ranking by a magazine of the world’s top city tourist destinations, according to Wanderlust Travel Magazine.
The spires of Bagan have survived wars, earthquakes and centuries of tropical sun, but in recent years Myanmar's ancient capital has faced a distinctly modern threat -- scaffolding and cement.
Yangon day-tour company Journeys Nature and Culture Exploration will enter a joint venture (JV) next month with global group PEAK International Travel, a subsidiary of the world’s largest multinational travel and tourism company, TUI AG.
Journeys will change its official name to Journeys Adventure Travel when it receives government permission for the JV. It will first operate a branch of Urban Adventures, a brand that falls under PEAK, by June.
Urban Adventures is a global day-tour service listed to the Hong Kong incorporated WHL Group. WHL, a conglomerate of companies offering worldwide solutions to online travel, is poised to tap the Myanmar market through PEAK and Journeys.
“We recognize that a lot of our partners are small- and medium-sized enterprises, and we’re taking a lot of initiative,” said Len Cordiner, chief executive officer and president at WHL Group.
“We expect the launch of Urban Adventures in Myanmar within the next couple of months. We’re now operating in some 90 cities, and we’ve just recently opened in Havana.”
S.B. Chetry, Journeys’ managing director, told Mizzima on Thursday that regardless of the influx of brands registered to PEAK slated for operations through the Journey office, Urban Adventures will be launched on time.
“The itineraries have been done and we’re looking to launch Urban Adventures next month,” he said.
Journeys has been operating unofficially in Myanmar since 1985 and was the first tour company to receive a license from the government in 1991. It has branches in Yangon, Putao, and will expand to Kalaw.
TUI AG is headquartered in Hannover, Germany, and listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. It was formed in 2002 and operates about 3,500 travel agencies and 79 tour operators in 18 countries, its corporate profile states.
TUI AG owns a 56 percent stake in TUI Travel Plc., which operates in 180 countries and serves 30 million customers. TUI Travel, listed on the London Stock Exchange, is the primary shareholder of PEAK.